AMP Call for Special Issue Papers: Platform Regulation

AMP@aom.org

Submission deadline: 30 October 2023

Platform Regulation


Guest Editors:

AMP Associate Editor:

Background

With platform business models increasing in prevalence across a variety of industries, digital platforms and their associated ecosystems are fundamentally transforming the competitive landscape and boundaries of markets. Platforms and ecosystems provide new structures of economic relationships put in place to enable better coordination among firms whose activities are highly interdependent (Adner 2017; Jacobides et al. 2018; Kretschmer et al. 2022; McIntyre & Srinivasan, 2017; Van Alstyne & Parker, 2021). However, as customers and complementors increasingly “lock in” to large platforms, the risk is that these structures might exploit participants as the power imbalance grows between the platform owner and other ecosystem members. Understanding these issues and exploring platform policies and regulation is thus paramount in developing theories and frameworks around this new business model and organizing mode (Cennamo, 2021; McIntyre et. al, 2021).

Recent research highlights possible market failures taking place in platform ecosystems which affect the incentives of complementors and platform firms to invest in and contribute high-quality products and innovations (e.g., Cennamo and Santaló 2019; Miller & Toh, 2022; Panico & Cennamo, 2022; Parker et al. 2021; Zhu and Liu 2018). Some of these might be the result of platform firms exploiting their dominant position in an ecosystem - that is, “over-orchestration”. Yet other failures (including those due to free-riding behavior, data privacy breaching, system fragmentation, and under-provision of quality) might emerge because of lack of effective orchestration, or “under-orchestration”. Although frameworks have identified problematic practices in digital platforms from an innovation standpoint (Cennamo, Kretschmer, Constantinides, Alaimo, Santaló, 2022), many related questions remain open and require further elaboration. 

Similarly, other emerging streams of research highlight significant concerns regarding effective regulatory approaches to platforms. These concerns include competitive parity in platform markets (Van Alstyne & Sokol, 2021), consumer privacy (Koutroumpis, Leiponen & Thomas, 2020), the ability of platform firms to shape their regulatory environments (Uzunca, Rigterig & Ozcan, 2018), the classification of platform participants as employees vs. contractors (Hagiu & Wright, 2019), data portability (Parker, Petropoulous & Van Alstyne 2021), and the incentives of complementors and platform firms to invest in high-quality products and innovations (e.g., Cennamo and Santaló 2019; Miller & Toh, 2022; Panico & Cennamo, 2022; Parker et al. 2021; Zhu and Liu 2018). With governments worldwide proposing expanded oversight of platform companies, regarding misinformation, privacy, and liability issues, this is an ideal time to assess and extend perspectives on platform regulation.

Aims and Scope of the Special Issue

This special issue of the Academy of Management Perspectives will broadly highlight policy concerns related to platforms – including antitrust, governance practices, data security, mergers and acquisitions, platform strategy, and organizational boundaries – and the current state of regulation (or not) for these matters. Furthermore, the SI invites papers that advance the domain of platform regulation, provide frameworks to identify the critical points of tension in platform ecosystems, compare different regulatory approaches globally, and explore new approaches that balance the perspectives of platform owners, consumers, complementors, and policymakers.

Consistent with AMP’s mission, the special issue encourages synthesis and extension of scholarly debates in this area. Submissions from various disciplines and perspectives – such as management, strategy, organizational behavior, economics, law, and entrepreneurship – are welcome. Scholars are reminded that AMP seeks papers that advance theory and contribute to policy (broadly defined). In addition, AMP welcomes conceptual and qualitative (e.g., narratives, multiple cases, experiments) papers, but note that AMP is neither a theory-tested nor a mathematical modeling journal.

Open-ended Research Questions

While not exhaustive, the following are examples of questions that would fit with the goals of the special issue:

Foundational views of platforms and regulation

  • What do different theories in strategy, economics, law, entrepreneurship and related fields tell us about platform regulation? How do we reconcile the tensions inherent in these different perspectives?
  • Should Strategy be concerned with the issue of fairness (distribution of value) or just with the firm capacity to create and capture greater value?
  • How can we balance the value created by dominant platform firms with incentives for entrepreneurial innovation in these settings? 
  • How can we conceptualize market concentration and dominance for platform firms that span settings as varied as e-commerce, cloud, home devices, groceries, and more? 

Platform governance, structure, and scope

  • Are platforms inherently leading to structural conditions of unfairness (a problem with the economic structure itself) or is unfairness an ex-post result of the orchestrator’s abuse of power (a problem with behavioral/governance practices)?
  • If centralized, platform-based structures, are problematic in and of themselves, what alternative structures do we have that preserve similar (or greater) levels of joint value creation ability while reducing the ability of a central organization to capture most of it? Would decentralized systems such as those based on blockchain be a “response” to these failures?
  • Under what conditions do platform-based structures lead to unfair competition?
  • Do platform mergers and acquisitions require different metrics or scrutiny compared to more “traditional” M&A?

Platform stakeholders and global views

  • What are the responsibilities of firms and regulators in ensuring the privacy and integrity of consumer data?
  • What is a fair split of the joint value produced in a platform ecosystem (and how do we assess this)?
  • What are new tests of predation when traditional tests, such as pricing below marginal cost, do not work in markets with free pricing?
  • What are indicators of consumer harm in contexts where consumers often pay little or nothing to join a platform?
  • What regulatory policies and models are emerging globally, and how do they compare? Are some more effective than others?

Submission Process and Deadlines

Submissions should be prepared using the AMP Manuscript Preparation Gudelines.

Manuscripts should be submitted using the AMP ScholarOne system. Papers will be reviewed according to the AMP double-blind review process.

We welcome informal enquiries relating to the Special Issue, proposed topics and potential fit with the Special Issue objectives. Inquiries should be directed to the Guest Editors.

Deadlines: 

  • Submission portal opens: 15 October 2023
  • Submission portal closes: 30 October 2023

SPECIAL CONFERENCES and PAPER DEVELOPMENT WORKSHOPS

After the first round of decisions, the Guest Editors plan to host a Paper Development Workshop for authors who receive an invitation to resubmit a revised version of their manuscript. Participation in this workshop does not guarantee acceptance of the paper in the SI, and is not a prerequisite for publication. Details about the specific timing and format of the workshop (in-person or virtual) will be forthcoming.

References

Adner R. 2017. Ecosystem as structure: An actionable construct for strategy, Journal of Management 43(1): 39–58.
Cennamo, C., Kretschmer T., Constantinides, P., Alaimo, C., Santaló J. 2022. Business model agnostic? An innovation-centric view of the DMA. Journal of European Competition Law and Practice (forthcoming).
Cennamo, C. 2021. Competing in digital markets: A platform-based perspective. Academy of Management Perspectives, 35(2): 265-291.
Cennamo, C., Ozalp, H., Kretschmer, T. 2018. Platform architecture and quality tradeoffs of multihoming complements. Information Systems Research, 29 (2): 461-478.
Cennamo C, Santaló J. 2019. Generativity tension and value creation in platform ecosystems. Organization Science 30(3): 617-41.
Hagiu, A., Wright, J. 2019. What California's new gig law gets wrong about gig work. Harvard Business Review.
Jacobides, M. G., C. Cennamo, A. Gawer. 2018. “Towards a Theory of Ecosystems.”Strategic Management Journal, 39(8): 2255-2276.
Kretschmer, T., Leiponen, A., Schilling, M., Vasuveda, G. 2022. Platform ecosystems as meta-organizations: Implications for platform strategies. Strategic Management Journal, 43(3): 405-424.
Koutroumpis, P., Leiponen, A. & Thomas, L. 2020. Markets for data. Industrial and Corporate Change, 29, 3: 645-660.
McIntyre, D., Srinivasan, A., Afuah, A., Gawer, A., & Kretschmer, T. 2021. Multi-sided platforms as new organizational forms. Academy of Management Perspectives, 35(4): 566-583.
McIntyre, D. & Srinivasan, A. 2017. Networks, platforms, and strategy: Emerging views and next steps. Strategic Management Journal, 38 (1): 141-160.
Miller C., Toh P.K. 2022. Complementary components and returns from coordination within ecosystems via standard setting. Strategic Management Journal, 43(3): 627-662.
Ozcan, P., Santos FM. 2015. The market that never was: Turf wars and failed alliances in mobile payments. Strategic Management Journal 36(10).
Panico C., Cennamo C. 2022. User preferences and strategic interactions in platform ecosystems. Strategic Management Journal, 43(3): 507-529.
Parker G, Petropoulos G, Van Alstyne M. 2021, “Platform Mergers and Antitrust”, Special Issue on Regulating Platforms and Ecosystems, Industrial and Corporate Change 30(5): 1307-1336.
Parker, G., Petropoulos, G. & Van Alstyne, M. 2022. Digital Platforms & Antitrust, in Oxford Handbook of Transnational Economic Governance, Hampshire, UK: Macmillan.
Parker, G., Van Alstyne, M., 2018. Innovation, openness, and platform control. Management Science, 64 : 3015-3032
Parker, G. & Van Alstyne, M. 2005. Two-sided network effects: A theory of information product design, Management Science, 51 (10), 1494-1504
Uzunca, B., Rigtering, C., Ozcan, P. 2018. Sharing and shaping: A cross-country comparison of how sharing economy firms shape their institutional environment to gain legitimacy. Academy of Management Discoveries 4(3).
Van Alstyne, M., Parker, G. 2021. Digital transformation changes how companies create value. Harvard Business Review, December.
Van Alstyne, M., Sokol, D. 2021. The rising risk of platform regulation. MIT Sloan Management Review. 62 (2), 6A-10A