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Strategies for creating and capturing value in the emerging ecosystem economy

Steven Davidson (IBM Global Business Services, Hong Kong, China)
Martin Harmer (IBM USA and IBM China)
Anthony Marshall (IBM Institute for Business Value)

Strategy & Leadership

ISSN: 1087-8572

Article publication date: 16 March 2015




This article identifies a new transactional system–the business ecosystem. It describes the characteristics and drivers of these complex webs of interdependent enterprises and other participants which create unique value through synergistic relationships.


The article explains how innovative organizations can seek new opportunities and develop new competencies in business ecosystems they will explicitly create or participate in.


Ecosystems provide stimulus for, and a path to organizational and industry transformation – connecting people and organizations in new and different ways, and providing access to skills and expertise often unavailable outside the ecosystem.

Practical implications

The authors have identified a spectrum of ecosystem archetypes that they call the Shark Tank, the Hornet’s Nest, the Wolf Pack and the Lion’s Pride. They analyze the success strategies for each.


This article methodically diagrams the strategies for success in the emerging ecosystem economy. It identifies the key drivers of value in these new kinds of networks and offers corporate leaders actionable advice on how to position their firms in specific types of ecosystems.



Davidson, S., Harmer, M. and Marshall, A. (2015), "Strategies for creating and capturing value in the emerging ecosystem economy", Strategy & Leadership, Vol. 43 No. 2, pp. 2-10.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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