Maneuvering Legacy: Developing Ecosystems for Novel Innovations

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We study the process of how incumbent firms implement a complex innovation via an ecosystem. Whereas most literature has focussed on ecosystems development in nascent industries, we focus instead on ecosystem development in mature settings with an established industry architecture. In nascent industries, the industry architecture is typically still emerging, enabling firms to develop ecosystems largely from scratch. This is difficult for firms operating in the a setting with an established industry architecture which can become constraining for ecosystem development. We found that these firms are confronted with legacy of the existing interdependencies of ecosystem actors which originate from the established industry architecture. We identified three strategy patterns to address the demands of legacy to further ecosystem development: continuous conforming, iterative circumventing, and bracketing to transform. Our study illuminates that ecosystem development in a mature industry is a process that not only requires firms to initiate novel interdependencies but also reconfigure existing interdependencies. For firms this indicates that they need an intentional strategy to address legacy.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 17 Dec 2018
EventSpecialized Academy of Management Conference: From Start-up to Scale-up -
Duration: 17 Dec 201819 Dec 2018


ConferenceSpecialized Academy of Management Conference: From Start-up to Scale-up


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