Power in the birth of ecosystems : an exploratory case study
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- Master Thesis 
This thesis investigates the following: What sources of power enable influence from the participating parties in the establishment of an ecosystem, and how do they use this influence to position themselves in the ecosystem? The thesis is based on an explorative single case study of the establishment of an ecosystem led by Telenor, aiming at developing a shared infrastructure of health data. The data is gathered through interviews of central participants in the project, observation of meetings, and through documents available. I have used existing literature on ecosystems, competitive strategi and organizational theory to develop a theoretical foundation for the research, and to analyze the primary data gathered. Existing theory have been used as fundament for the developed theory presented in this thesis which complement existing ecosystem literature. The findings of the paper reveal that a firm's power in the development of an ecosystem can come from expertise, corporate network, influence on reward, brand and their value proposition. Firms can use this power to gain influence in the development of the ecosystem through activities such as workshops, project meetings, develop blueprint and be represented in teams working on the technical design. Through their influence in the birth of an ecosystem, firms gain power in the final ecosystem through centrality, increase switching costs, and become critical in the ecosystems value creation. Additionally, this research contributes with findings regarding the importance of trust among the participating firms in the birth phase of an ecosystem. High level of trust enables a firm to gain influence in the process, and to achieve favorable positions in the established ecosystem. These findings are significant because they can contribute to the firm’s ability to increase the creation of value in ecosystems, and enable them to capture value from emerging ecosystems.