Disintermediation and co-opetition in platform ecosystems and modern value chains
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This dissertation investigates partial disintermediation and co-opetition in platform-based ecosystems and modern supply chains. Disintermediation has been an intriguing puzzle for managers for the last several decades, but recent development in electronic commerce makes the management of this trade-off even more challenging. The first type of partial disintermediation I study, often referred to as platform envelopment, is widely observed in platform-based businesses. Platform owners often rely on complementary innovations from third-party providers (i.e., third-party contents), while providing their own products/services to consumers (i.e., first-party contents). The second type of partial disintermediation I study is referred to as supplier encroachment. Due to the fast development of electronic commerce, many manufacturers have established their direct-selling channels on the internet (e.g., online stores), instead of completely relying on third-party retailers to reach customers. The widespread observation of disintermediation and the resulting co-opetition behaviors in various industries has motivated me to investigate two important questions: (1) what's the impact of partial disintermediation on consumer demand and firm profits? (2) what strategies can be used to manage the co-opetition relationship? I use both analytical modeling and empirical methods to study the impact of disintermediation on consumer behaviors, firm profits, and social welfare. The findings provide managerial insights into how to manage the co-opetition dilemma due to disintermediation.