Less Trust, More Truth: Affordances of Distributed Ledger Technologies for Decentralized Platform Ecosystems

Item Type Thesis (Doctoral)
Abstract The internet and information technologies have accelerated platform business models associated with distinct economic advantages. By exploiting network effects and information asymmetries, winner-take-all marketplaces and monopolistic market structures developed. However, the advent of novel digital technologies, such as distributed ledger technologies (DLTs), carries broad implications for new ways of platform orchestration with the ability to challenge our understanding of platform ecosystems, particularly concerning disintermediation effects and a reconfiguration of governance and incentive alignments. I explore how the inherent and unique affordances of DLTs affect and allow for novel business model patterns in platform ecosystems. Along with incentive mechanisms and governance configurations, I investigate DLT business model characteristics, directions, and alignments of value creation and value capture. Through a mixed methods study design, I first develop a taxonomy of DLT business model dimensions and second cluster new kinds and DLT-exploiting configurations of platform ecosystems into associated business model archetypes. This allows me to construct a theoretical model of how restricting or loosening DLT affordances influence these ecosystem configurations and the interplay between the platform's core and periphery. I outline novel design choices for platform configurations that predominantly strive for data sovereignty. My findings reveal how the extent to which DLT affordances are integrated into the platform governance designand thus how the integrity of the technology generates information symmetry and platform disintermediationimpacts and even replaces digital trust with what I call digital truth. The integrity of governance inherent in technology and not a platform sponsor allows for new and decentralized platform ecosystem design choices, where decentralized governance becomes a fundamental element. As such, I examine DLT governance mechanisms, considering its integrity, network robustness, and the successful coordination of network intersubjectivity when enforcing consensus. Finally, I explore the orchestrated initiation of decentralized platform ecosystems through coopetition models, in which decentralized governance is exploited to solve game-theoretic challenges when seeking the macro-economically efficient state of competitivity among the coopetition partners. This thesis seeks to shed light on managing platform externalities, thereby enabling platform configurations in which negative externalities are effectively internalized while preserving or even promoting positive externalities where the novel value in multi-party models is created through optimized and fostered data-sharing. Thus, DLT affordances allow for digital truth and information symmetry in platform ecosystems, progressing towards autonomous and dynamic networks of networks.
Authors Schmück, Kilian David
Referent Gassmann, Oliver (Prof. Dr.) (Referent) & Fleisch, Elgar (Prof. Dr.) (Koreferent)
Language English
Keywords Blockchain; Geschäftsmodell; Plattformökonomie; EDIS-5197; blockchain; Business model; platform governance; digital trust; coopetition; platform ecosystems
Subjects economics
HSG Classification not classified
HSG Profile Area None
Date 21 February 2022
Publisher Universität St. Gallen
Place of Publication St.Gallen
Official URL https://nbn-resolving.org/urn:nbn:ch:bel-2264364
Depositing User Ruedi Lindegger
Date Deposited 22 Feb 2022 12:33
Last Modified 25 Nov 2022 10:39
URI: https://www.alexandria.unisg.ch/publications/265924


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Schmück, Kilian David: Less Trust, More Truth: Affordances of Distributed Ledger Technologies for Decentralized Platform Ecosystems. Thesis, 2022.


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