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Published: 2020-06-04

Digital ecosystems require distinct leadership approaches

NEWS Digitalization causes digital ecosystems to emerge - which places special demands on forms of collaboration and management. This is shown by a new dissertation at Umeå University.

Text: Marie Oskarsson

Hosea Ofe is a researcher in informatics and describes in his dissertation how digitalization drives companies towards a more active participation in ecosystems centered around digital platforms. Digital ecosystems are networks of actors that work together to produce services and offers using digital technology.

Hosea has studied the establishment of Trafiklab, a platform for open data in public transport. The study shows that the start-up of a new platform places special demands on leadership:

"Managing new digital ecosystems is not just about technology design - it's also about building relationships between different actors. The study shows that leadership is more about "orchestration" than what we usually refer to as traditional leadership", says Hosea Ofe.

Orchestration involves extensive coordination between the parties involved in the ecosystem.

"When establishing a new platform, the value of the service is unknown and power relations are also not established. It's about identifying and clarifying potential value, and managing both power relations and competing perspectives", says Hosea Ofe.

The thesis makes it clear that suppliers balance between three partially competing goals - attracting users, coordinating user activities and creating and capturing value. It is important to create value for both users and suppliers. 

Hosea believes that platform providers should look at the digital ecosystem as a whole.

"Orchestration involves creating an understanding of the unique situation of the actors involved and highlighting the benefits of collaboration. Meetings are important for understanding each other and sharing each other's interests, knowledge and perspectives", concludes Hosea Ofe.

Link to dissertation

Link to picture

For more information contact:

Hosea Ofe

Department of Informatics at Umeå University

Email: ofe.hosea.ayaba@umu.se

Phone: 090-786 97 91, 073-877 41 84

About the defense

About the defense

Thesis title: Orchestrating Emerging Digital Ecosystems - A Study of the Establishment of an Open Data Platform in Swedish Public Transport

Location: Triple Helix, Umeå University,

Time: Friday, June 12, 2020. 1pm.

Faculty Opponent: Professor Anna Ståhlbröst,

Department of Digital Services and Systems, Department of Computer Science, Electrical and Space Engineering, Luleå University of Technology

The dissertation is carried out mainly digitally, both for employees and for the general public. It is also implemented on a smaller scale on Campus. For further information.