Controlling for Value Creation in Platform Organizations - A Case Study of Evaluative Infrastructures
Sammanfattning: This qualitative case study examines the processes of controlling for value creation in platform organizations. We show that when going from a hierarchical organizational context towards one of heterarchical nature, there is a need for a corresponding change in theoretical notion in order to understand the control mechanisms. Therefore, the theoretical framework of Evaluative Infrastructures, developed by Kornberger et al. (2017), is used as analytical lens. This framework builds on three concepts: Relationality (linking heterogenous objects into a context), Generativity (the disclosing of new opportunities) and Protocol (a decentralized control, while the power is kept centralized). We find that platform companies control for value creation through building trust, gathering a surplus of data, and creating self-managing platforms. Furthermore, transparency is suggested as a possible additional dimension of the theoretical framework of evaluative infrastructures. Motivating studies in this theoretical field is the increasingly digitized environment together with the rising awareness of the benefits of sharing, which has made platform companies like Airbnb and Uber grow in a rapid pace in recent years. Value exchange now, to a larger extent than ever, takes place between peers on platforms rather than between a company and its customers. The empirical base of the study comes from the case company Qasa as well as the two calibrating case companies Workaround and Heetch.
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