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Open Access
Article
Publication date: 21 November 2023

Marcos Aguiar, Jeff Kiderman, Harsha Chandra Shekar and Oliver Schilke

The purpose of this paper is to elaborate the significance of safeguards in digital ecosystems and their role in generating trust among participants. This paper argues that the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to elaborate the significance of safeguards in digital ecosystems and their role in generating trust among participants. This paper argues that the right mix and number of safeguards are crucial for an ecosystem’s growth and success. It offers ecosystem orchestrators concrete guidelines for how to implement and monitor safeguards.

Design/methodology/approach

This research is based on both consulting experience and publicly available information on several digital ecosystems.

Findings

This research conceptualizes safeguards as precautionary mechanisms that mandate or promote desirable behavior in an effort to engender trust among ecosystem participants. Safeguards can take various forms, including passwords, escrow, user privacy controls, ratings and reviews and policies and contracts. Striking the right balance of safeguards – neither too few nor too many – is crucial for ecosystem orchestrators. This paper identifies the factors that determine the optimal mix of safeguards, including the power asymmetry between sellers and buyers, the sophistication of participants, the nature of transactions, the cost of negative outcomes and the cost-benefit tradeoff.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this study is one of the first to illuminate the relationship between safeguards and trust in the context of digital ecosystem. It is also one of the few attempts to provide managerial guidance for ecosystem designers trying to structure their platform for trust.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 45 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

Keywords

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