The Palgrave Encyclopedia of Strategic Management

Living Edition
| Editors: Mie Augier, David J. Teece

Network Effects

Living reference work entry


Network effects are a key economic and strategic phenomenon in ‘new economy’ industries. They can, but do not necessarily, lead to market tipping, unless they outweigh customers’ benefits from differentiation and are accompanied by high switching and multi-homing costs. Network effects create the possibility for multiple equilibrium market configurations, which are crucially determined by market participants’ expectations. While in some markets network effects are exogenously given, in other markets their existence and magnitude is endogenously determined by firms’ strategic choices.


Network Effect Application Developer Online Retailer High Switching Cost Indirect Network Effect 
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© The Author(s) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Harvard Business SchoolCambridgeUSA