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Platform Based Service Innovation

Xia Han's PhD research

Platform Based Service Innovation 

Why do service providers innovate in the platform context?

Background

Something very interesting is happening in today’s economy. “In 2015 Uber, the world's largest taxi-company owns no vehicles, Facebook the world's most popular media owner creates no content, Alibaba, the most valuable retailer has no inventory and Airbnb the world's largest accommodation provider owns no real estate.” These businesses are in essence, multi-sided platforms. These platforms serve the function of matching the needs and resources of two or more groups of customers. The most distinctive feature of these platforms is the positive correlation between the number of participants and value of network. The sustainability of these platforms rely on the number of participants from both customer side and provider side.

The current body of platform literature is mainly focused on product based platforms. Service accounts for over 50% of GDP of the developed world’s economy. Researchers are just starting to explore the service aspect of platforms. Therefore, the service platform agenda needs to be further perused. Given the research gaps in the current platform literature, this research focuses on the service providers and their motivation to participate in platform service innovation. 

 

Objective 

This doctoral research aims at understanding the factors influencing service providers’ decision to engage in innovation activities in platforms

Methodology

This research adopts institutional theory as the foundation to analyze the effects of Institutional forces (e.g. discourses) drive providers to adopt platform and consequently innovate in the platform context. 

Multiple case study approach is the primary research method.
Primary data is collected through semi structured interviews, on site observations and questionnaires.
Secondary data is collected from communication letters, company documents, and media coverage. 

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