Professor Michael G. Jacobides, London Business School
The recent surge of interest in “ecosystems” in strategy research and practice has mainly focused on what ecosystems are and how they operate. We briefly review this literature and complement it, considering when ecosystems emerge, why they converge and what makes them distinct. We argue that modularity enables ecosystem emergence, as it allows a set of distinct yet interdependent organizations to coordinate without full hierarchical fiat. We propose that this interdependence is based on different types of complementarities, which can be supermodular or unique, unidirectional or bidirectional. We explain how different types of interdependencies map onto different types of ecosystems, and argue that at the core of ecosystems lie non-generic complementarities. We conclude with implications for mainstream strategy and suggestions for future ecosystem research.
Michael G. Jacobides holds the Sir Donald Gordon Chair of Entrepreneurship & Innovation at London Business School, where he is Associate Professor of Strategy. He has held visiting appointments at Wharton, Harvard Business School, NYU-Stern, has visited Bocconi, University of Paris and Singapore Management University, and teaches in Columbia for the LBS/Columbia EMBA-Global. He has served on the Global Agenda Council of the World Economic Forum on the Financial System and the Future of Investments, and is a Visiting Scholar with the New York Fed, focusing on changing business models in Financial Services. He studied in Athens, Cambridge, Stanford and Wharton, where he obtained his PhD.
Michael’s focus is change, design and strategy: he studies industry evolution, value migration, new business models, and structural change in firms and sectors. He is also interested in organisational design and how firms cope with organisational pathologies. His research has earned him the Sloan Foundation Award for the best Industry Study, and he has raised over £1m in research funds. A Ghoshal Fellow in the Advanced Institute of Management, his research has been sponsored by the Leverhulme Trust, NATO, MBAA, the WEF and other private and public bodies. He has worked with McKinsey, PwC, KPMG, Airbus, Finmeccanica, Pirelli, Lufthansa, Vodafone, Telenor, DT, Nokia, Burberrys, Santander, Credit Suisse, BBVA, Goldman Sachs, Lloyds, RBS, Nordea, Rabobank, Zurich, if, MerckSerono, Chiesi Pharmaceutica, Roche and the NHS on executive development, thought-leadership and strategy.
Michael has given keynotes for corporate events and for industry associations, including Accenture, McKinsey, PwC, Winterthur, De Beers, the Innovation Roundtable, the British Bankers Association, the Mortgage Senate, the Institute of Sovereign Investors, the Healthcare Forum, FIDI, ACE, RICS, and has spoken on TEDx, as well as in sessions for the WEF meetings in Brussels, Vienna, Istanbul, New York, Rome, Dubai and in Davos, where he has facilitated public and private events. On policy, he is working with the WEF, the UK parliament (on the future of Financial Services), the European Council (a task-force advising President Van Rompuy on Innovation & Entrepreneurship) and has spearheaded the RedesignGreece initiative, which aims to help restructure the Greek public administration. His current degree teaching is on Managing Corporate Turnarounds, a popular phenomenon-driven strategy elective.
A former VP of the European Academy of Management and officer of the Academy of Management and the Strategic Management Society, Michael has published in academic journals such as the Strategic Management Journal, Organization Science, Research Policy, Academy of Management Journal, Academy of Management Review, Journal of Financial Perspectives and Industrial & Corporate Change, where he serves as the Co-Editor. He writes for Harvard Business Review, Financial Times, Forbes.com, Huffington Post, Business Strategy Review, Greek dailies To Vima and Kathimerini, where he holds an op-ed column. He has been interviewed by the BBC, NPR, FT, TheStreet.com, Reuters, Bloomberg, Radio 5, Radio France, El Pais, Dubai’s The National, the Russian State TV24, SKAI and ANT1, and appears regularly on CNN.