The Digital Business Ecosystem

The Digital Business Ecosystem

Edited by Angelo Corallo, Giuseppina Passiante and Andrea Prencipe

By bringing together elements of a radical new approach to the firm based on a biological metaphor of the ecosystem, this unique book extends the limits of existing theories traditionally used to investigate business networks.


Angelo Corallo, Giuseppina Passiante and Andrea Prencipe

Subjects: business and management, organisational innovation, organisation studies, strategic management, innovation and technology, organisational innovation


Angelo Corallo, Giuseppina Passiante and Andrea Prencipe BACKGROUND Radical changes in the geography of costs, production, and human and social capital have affected the organization of business activities, modifying both geographic and sectoral dimensions. Business organizations have reacted by decentralizing production and innovation, shifting activities to external partners and adopting distributed, modular organizational structures. This trend has led to the emergence of the business network. The business network is ubiquitous throughout the economy. The production and commercialization of products and services rely on a network of interrelated firms which contribute directly or indirectly to its design, creation and delivery (Powell 1990, Castells 1996). Although research has made important contributions towards the understanding of business networks, further theoretical and empirical research is required to develop a better understanding of the processes underlying their structure and evolution. As early as 1959, Stafford Beer compared business systems to biological systems and argued that an industrial organization is an organism which responds to its environment. The ecological perspective does not see the economy as a machine; on the contrary it argues that the market economy is best understood as a living, evolving ecosystem (Rothschild 1990). Departing from these contributions, this book aims to provide a better understanding of how business networks were born, under what conditions they can survive and what the main variables to be considered are in order to support the design, implementation and evolution of an effective business network structure. Moore (1993) defined the business ecosystem as...