Multi-sided platforms have become the hallmark of the digital economy. However, their impact varies profoundly across different markets. We have done a longitudinal case study on HSPC, a platform jointly provided by a consortium led by multiple U.S. health care providers. Our focus is on the development processes of the platform over a period of five years and the underlying management decisions and design choices. We have developed a platform management framework to capture and reconstruct the influence and interdependencies of choices over time. The case highlights distinct strategic choices aiming at scaling of the platform and competitive positioning at an early stage of platform evolution. Our findings show four main conflicts regarding the implementation and scaling of the platform and its services as well as the processual interplay and interdependencies between different management areas. The paper thereby contributes to a process view on platform management and offers an understanding of specifics of platform evolution in health care.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Platforms with consumers as one customer segment and advertisers as the second (major) segment are quite particular cases of MSP as they partly violate the condition of direct interaction between the segments, for example the interaction of a Google search user with a company advertising on Google captures only a subset of searches. In most cases, the ads will be viewed as distraction or even a nuisance by the consumers who are searching for information.
Aanestad, M., & Jensen, T. B. (2011). Building nation-wide information infrastructures in healthcare through modular implementation strategies. Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 20(2), 161–176. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jsis.2011.03.006.
Adner, R., & Kapoor, R. (2010). Value creation in innovation ecosystems: How the structure of technological interdependence affects firm performance in new technology generations. Strategic Management Journal, 31(3), 306–333. https://doi.org/10.1002/smj.821.
Alt, R., & Zimmermann, H.-D. (2001). Preface: Introduction to special section – business models. Electronic Markets, 11(1), 3–9. https://doi.org/10.1080/713765630.
Barrett, M., Oborn, E., & Orlikowski, W. (2016). Creating value in online communities: The sociomaterial configuring of strategy, platform, and stakeholder engagement. Information Systems Research, 27(4), 704–723. https://doi.org/10.1287/isre.2016.0648.
Dunn, M. B., & Jones, C. (2010). Institutional logics and institutional pluralism. Administrative Science Quarterly, 55(114–149), 114–149. https://doi.org/10.2189/asqu.2010.55.1.114.
Eaton, B., Elaluf-Calderwood, S., Soerensen, C., & Yoo, Y. (2015). Distributed tuning of boundary resources: The case of apple’s iOS service system. MIS Quarterly, 39(1), 217–243.
Eisenhardt, K. M. (1989). Building theories from case study research. Academy of Management Review, 14(4), 532–550. https://doi.org/10.2307/258557.
Eisenmann, T. R., Parker, G., & van Alstyne, M. (2009). Opening platforms: How, when and why? In A. Gawer (Ed.), Platforms, Markets and Innovation (pp. 131–162). Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.
Estrin, D., & Sim, I. (2010). Health care delivery. Open mHealth architecture: An engine for health care innovation. Science,330(6005), 759-760. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1196187.
Evans, D. S., & Schmalensee, R. (2016). Matchmakers: The new economics of multisided platforms. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.
Farjoun, M. (2017). Contradicions, dialectics, and paradoxes. In A. Langley & C. K. Tsukas (Eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Process Organization Studies, 87–109.
Fortwengel, J., Schüßler, E., & Sydow, J. (2017). Studying organizational creativity as process: Fluidity or duality? Creativity and Innovation Management, 26(1), 5–16. https://doi.org/10.1111/caim.12187.
Furstenau, D., & Auschra, C. (2016). Open digital platforms in health care: Implementation and scaling strategies. In International Conference on Information Systems, 2016, Dublin, Ireland.
Gartner, W. B. (1985). A Conceptual framework for describing the phenomenon of new venture creation. Academy of Management Review, 10(4), 696–706. https://doi.org/10.1177/026327602761899255.
Garud, R., Kumaraswamy, A., & Karnøe, P. (2010). Path dependence or path creation? Journal of Management Studies, 47(4), 760–774. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-6486.2009.00914.x.
Gawer, A. (2014). Bridging differing perspectives on technological platforms: Toward an integrative framework. Research Policy, 43(7), 1239–1249. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.respol.2014.03.006.
Gawer, A., & Cusumano, M. A. (2002). Platform leadership: How intel, microsoft, and cisco drive industry innovation. Boston, Massachusetts. Harvard Business School Press.
Gawer, A., & Cusumano, M. A. (2014). Industry platforms and ecosystem innovation. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 31(3), 417–433. https://doi.org/10.1111/jpim.12105.
Giddens, A. (1984). The constitution of society: Outline of the theory of structuration. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Google. (2011). An update on Google health and Google powermeter. Retrieved from https://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/06/update-on-google-health-and-google.html, last accessed on September 6th, 2016.
Hagiu, A. (2014). Strategic decisions for multisided platforms. MIT Sloan Management Review, 55(2), 71–80.
Huckman, R., & Uppaluru, M. (2015). The untapped potential of health care APIs. Harvard Business Review, 93(12), 1–7.
Johns, C. (2017). Becoming a reflective practitioner (5th ed.). Hoboken, New Jersey: Wiley.
Katz, M. L., & Shapiro, C. (1985). Network externalities, competition, and compatibility. American Economic Review, 75(3), 424–440.
Klein, S., & Alt, R. (2015). B2B electronic markets. In R. Mansell, P. H. Ang, & P. Ballon (Eds.), International Encyclopedia of Digital Communication and Society (pp. 35–46). Chichester, West Sussex, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.
Knight, L., & Pye, A. (2005). Network learning: An empirically derived model of learning by groups of organizations. Human Relations, 58(3), 369–392.
Lluch, M., & Abadie, F. (2013). Exploring the role of ICT in the provision of integrated care - Evidence from eight countries. Health Policy, 111(1), 1–13. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.healthpol.2013.03.005.
Locke, K. D. (2005). Grounded theory in management research. London: Sage.
Lyytinen, K., & Damsgaard, J. (2011). Inter-organizational information systems adoption – A configuration analysis approach. European Journal of Information Systems, 20(5), 496–509. https://doi.org/10.1057/ejis.2010.71.
Mantere, S., & Ketokivi, M. (2013). Reasoning in organization science. Academy of Management Review, 38(1), 70–89. https://doi.org/10.5465/amr.2011.0188.
McIntyre, D. P., & Srinivasan, A. (2017). Networks, platforms, and strategy: Emerging views and next steps. Strategic Management Journal, 38(1), 141–160. https://doi.org/10.1002/smj.2596.
Moore, J. F. (1993). Predators and prey: A new ecology of Competition. Harvard Business Review, 71(3), 75–86.
Nambisan, P., & Nambisan, S. (2009). Models of consumer value cocreation in Health Care. Health Care Management Review, 34(4), 344–354. https://doi.org/10.1097/hmr.0b013e3181abd528.
Neumann, D. (2007). Market engineering: A structured design process for electronic markets.Studies on E-Organisation and Market Engineering. Karlsruhe: Universitäts-Verlag Karlsruhe.
O’Reilly, C. A., & Tushman, M. L. (2008). Ambidexterity as a dynamic capability: Resolving the Innovator’s Dilemma. Research in Organizational Behavior, 28, 185–206. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.riob.2008.06.002.
Ondrus, J., Gannamaneni, A., & Lyytinen, K. (2015). The impact of openness on the market potential of multi-sided platforms: A case study of mobile payment platforms. Journal of Information Technology, 30(3), 260–275. https://doi.org/10.1057/jit.2015.7.
Orlikowski, W. J., & Iacono, C. S. (2001). Research commentary: Desperately seeking the “IT” in IT research—a call to theorizing the IT artifact. Information Systems Research, 12(2), 121–134. https://doi.org/10.1287/isre.188.8.131.5200.
Pouloudi, N., Currie, W., & Whitley, E. (2016). Entangled stakeholder roles and perceptions in health information systems: A longitudinal study of the U. K. NHS N3 network. Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 17(2), Article 1.
Provan, K. G., & Kenis, P. (2008). Modes of network governance: Structure, management, and effectiveness. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 18(2), 229–252. https://doi.org/10.1093/jopart/mum015.
Raisch, S., Birkinshaw, J., Probst, G., & Tushman, M. L. (2009). Organizational Ambidexterity: Balancing Exploitation and Exploration for Sustained Performance. Organization Science, 20(4), 685–695. https://doi.org/10.1287/orsc.1090.0428.
Reckwitz, A. (2002). Toward a theory of social practices: A development in culturalist theorizing. European Journal of Social Theory, 5(2), 243–263. https://doi.org/10.1177/13684310222225432.
Reimers, K., Johnston, R. B., & Klein, S. (2014). An empirical evaluation of existing IS change theories for the case of IOIS evolution. European Journal of Information Systems, 23(4), 373–399. https://doi.org/10.1057/ejis.2013.7.
Rochet, J.-C., & Tirole, J. (2003). Platform competition in two-sided markets. Journal of the European Economic Association, 1(4), 990–1029. https://doi.org/10.1162/154247603322493212.
Schoefield, J. W. (2002). Increasing the generalizability of qualitative research. In M. Huberman & M. B. Miles (Eds.), The Qualitative Researcher’s Companion (pp. 171–204). Sage Publications.
Schön, D. A. (1991). The reflective practitioner: How professionals think in action. London: Taylor & Francis.
Scott, W. R., Ruef, M., Mendel, P. J., & Caronna, C. A. (2000). Institutional change and healthcare organizations: From professional dominance to managed care. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Stevenson, W. B., Pearce, J. L., & Porter, L. W. (1985). The concept of “coalition” in organization theory and research. The Academy of Management Review, 10(2), 256–268. https://doi.org/10.5465/amr.1985.4278178.
Thomas, L. D. W., Autio, E., & Gann, D. M. (2014). Architectural leverage: Putting platforms in context. Academy of Management Perspectives, 28(2), 198–219. https://doi.org/10.5465/amp.2011.0105.
Tiwana, A., Konsynski, B., & Bush, A. A. (2010). Research commentary —platform evolution: Coevolution of platform architecture, governance, and environmental dynamics. Information Systems Research, 21(4), 675–687. https://doi.org/10.1287/isre.1100.0323.
Walker, J., Pan, E., Johnston, D., Adler-Milstein, J., Bates, D. W., & Middleton, B. (2005). The value of health care information exchange and interoperability. Health Affairs, Suppl Web Exclusives, W5–10-W5-18. https://doi.org/10.1377/hlthaff.w5.10, 24
Washington, V., DeSalvo, K., Mostashari, F., & Blumenthal, D. (2017). The HITECH Era and the Path Forward. New England Journal of Medicine, 377(10), 904–906. https://doi.org/10.1056/NEJMp1703370.
Wenger, E., White, N., & Smith, J. D. (2009). Digital Habitats: Stewarding Technology for Communities. Portland, OR: CPsquare.
Wessel, L., Gersch, M., & Harloff, E. (2017). Talking past each other. Business & Information Systems Engineering, 59(1), 23–40. https://doi.org/10.1007/s12599-016-0462-0.
Whittington, R. (2003). The work of strategizing and organizing: For a practice perspective. Strategic Organization, 1(1), 117–125. https://doi.org/10.1177/147612700311006.
World Health Organization. (2015). People-centred and integrated health services: An overview of the evidence. Interim Report. Geneva, Switzerland. Available at: http://apps.who.int/iris/handle/10665/155004/
Yaraghi, N., Du, A. Y., Sharman, R., Gopal, R. D., & Ramesh, R. (2015). Health information exchange as a multisided platform: Adoption, usage, and practice involvement in service Co-Production. Information Systems Research, 26(1), 1–18. https://doi.org/10.1287/isre.2014.0547.
Yin, R. K. (2013). Case study research: design and methods (5th ed.). Los Angeles: Sage.
Zuboff, S. (2015). Big other: Surveillance capitalism and the prospects of an information civilization. Journal of Information Technology, 30(1), 75–89. https://doi.org/10.1057/jit.2015.5.
Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.
Responsible Editors: Nizar Abdelkafi and R. Srinivasan
About this article
Cite this article
Fürstenau, D., Auschra, C., Klein, S. et al. A process perspective on platform design and management: evidence from a digital platform in health care. Electron Markets 29, 581–596 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12525-018-0323-4
- Digital health platforms
- Technical architecture
- Platform governance
- Process perspective
- I1 & O3