Firms are often embedded in a technology ecosystem comprised of complementary technologies that span multiple product markets. In this dissertation, I examine how complementarity between the firm’s technologies influences its strategies to create and appropriate value in the ecosystem. I investigate this overarching question in two contexts: firm’s participation in compatibility standards and how it designs products for a new market. In Chapter 2 and 3, I explore how complementarity within the firm’s technology portfolio affects how and where it creates and appropriates value from intellectual property disclosures to major compatibility standards. In Chapter 2, I theorize as to how a portfolio of complementary technologies allows the firm to create value from its technological position in an industry standard. I empirically test my prediction using data on major compatibility standards in the information and communications technology industry. I find that firms generate positive returns from disclosure only when they own complementary technologies. In Chapter 3, I extend this argument to study value appropriation. I find that firms focus their appropriation strategy around their complementary technologies. Chapter 4 examines how product complementarities influence product strategy in a new market. I propose that firms with complementary products will enter markets with products that exhibit lower technical performance than firms without complementary products. I also argue that firms choose features that function with their complementary products and will tradeoff non-complementary features when necessary. Examining entry into the nascent smartphone market using a rich set of data on smartphone product technology and features, I find strong support for these conclusions. I identify complementarities within the firm’s product portfolio as an important driver of firm’s product strategy. Through this dissertation, I demonstrate the benefit of a more systemic view of the firm’s portfolio, one that appreciates the relationships between the firm’s various technologies and products, and how these relationships influence the firm’s technology strategy.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. May 2017. Major: Business Administration. Advisors: Puay Khoon Toh, Myles Shaver. 1 computer file (PDF); viii, 202 pages.
Value Creation, Appropriation, And Product Design Strategies In Technology Ecosystems: Three Essays On The Role Of Complementary Technologies.
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