Trendy terms, old issue : how doing Business interconnected with others ? As often, even the good works in management are short of history insights.
Nonetheless, The Keystone advantage (What the New Dynamics of Business Ecosystems Mean for Strategy, Innovation, and Sustainability) is a rich account of extensive field inquiry by Harvard Business School researchers. The authors are Marco Iansiti and Roy Levien.
The presentation of this opus is online : « Fundamentally, [keystone organizations] aim to improve the overall health of their ecosystems by providing a stable and predictable set of common assets—think of Wal-Mart’s procurement system and Microsoft’s Windows operating system and tools—that other organizations use to build their own offerings. (…) [T]he first requirement usually involves the creation of a platform, an asset in the form of services, tools, or technologies that offers solutions to others in the ecosystem. (…) The second requirement for keystones’ success is that they share throughout the ecosystem much of the value they have created, balancing their generosity with the need to keep some of that value for themselves. (…)« .
– HBS’s workshop called Working Knowledge which is « a forum for innovation in business practice, offering readers a first look at cutting-edge thinking and the opportunity to both influence and use these concepts before they enter mainstream management practice. »
– Business Ecosystems @Wikipedia.
– More to come on an innovative editorial endeavour by Alexander Osterwalder.
– More resources @WebOL/Eco.
– History, you mean ? To justify the « history tag » for this post, note that resources are available @HBS and @HBS-WK.