CEMS Блок-семинар: Управление многосторонними платформами и инновациями в эпоху глобализации

CEMS Blocked Seminar on Multi-Sided Platforms and Innovation in a Global Era


September 4th– September 9th2016

Aalto University School of Business, Helsinki – Graduate School of Management, St. Petersburg 



Sergey Yablonsky, GSOM;

Esko Penttinen, Aalto


Strategic management of multi-sided network platforms (henceforth MSPs) and innovation in context of developed and emerging economies.

Goals and objectives:

The aim of this blocked seminar is to provide students with a broad understanding of the challenges related to and ways of advancing multi-sided platforms management, cooperation, and innovation within multinational firms that have subsidiaries spread across cultures and economic regions. 
Multi-sided platforms comprise a large and rapidly growing share of the world digital economy. MSPs are increasingly prevalent: 60 of the world’s 100 largest global companies earn most of their revenue from MSPs. 
MSPs concepts are new: first academic papers on “two-sided” networks published in 2003.
Examples of MSPs include:
– Amazon, eBay and other e-commerce sites connect buyers and sellers.
– Google’s search engine brokers the relationship between online advertisers and Internet users.
– American Express, PayPal, Visa and other payments systems bring together merchants (online or offline) and consumers.
– Microsoft’s Windows coordinates PC manufactures, third-party developers of software applications and end-users.
– Social web (Facebook, Google+) brings together users, advertisers and third-party developers of web applications.
– Mobile service platforms (Apple with App Store) connect together users, advertisers and third-party developers of mobile applications.
– Mall of America and other shopping malls link retailers and shoppers.
– Videogame consoles such as Nintendo’s Wii, Sony’s PlayStation 3 and Microsoft’s Xbox 360 connect users with third-party game developers.
– Cloud computing platforms (AWS, Microsoft).
– Etc.
MSPs are not just digital industries, also:
– Financial services, e.g., ATMs, credit cards, stock exchanges
– Transportation, e.g., package delivery, airlines, travel agents, reservation systems, fuel cell-powered cars
– Retail, e.g., shopping centers, bar codes/RFID
– Energy, e.g., grid + appliances, energy trading
– Real estate, e.g., home buying
– Health care, e.g., HMOs
– Enterprise administration, e.g., recruiting, B2B procurement
Firms in MSPs face distinctive management challenges. Familiar rules such as value-based pricing may fail. Traditional barriers to entry may no longer hold. Due to network effects, platform intermediaries often enjoy increasing returns to scale; their industries have room for only a few players. In many MSPs, network effects are so strong that a single platform prevails. When winners take most, little is left for losers, as evidenced by the spectacular success of some platform providers, for example, Amazon, eBay, Google, Apple and Facebook.
With increasing shifts and changes of business landscapes, firms in both developed and emerging economies are challenged by how to manage and to innovate through MSPs, and to expand operations abroad by using MSPs for successful establishment and localization of their businesses in foreign countries in order to outperform rivals.

The seminar focuses:

Global digital business strategies, business models and plans, managing innovative multidisciplinary and multicultural projects, organizations and teams, design and technology management.

The seminar is appropriate for:

1. Students planning entrepreneurial ventures in online business.
2. Students whose careers as managers, investors, or consultants will focus on online businesses.

Course Web Site - Innovative e-learning management system “MULTI-SIDED PLATFORMS AND INNOVATION IN A GLOBAL ERA” on-line course on free Blackboard course site (https://www.coursesites.com/) is created. It will be used for publishing all learning materials/links and learning management by instructors.

Course Reading:

Compulsory literature list (links/texts available on Blackboard course site in advance):
1. T.R. Eisenmann, G.Parker, M.VanAlstyne (2006). Strategies for Two-Sided Markets, Harvard Business Review, 12p.
2. A.Hagiu and J.Wright (2015). Multi-sided platforms, International Journal of Industrial Organization, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 2 April 2015, 13 p.
3. D. Nyle´n ,J.Holmstro¨m (2015). Digital innovation strategy: A framework for diagnosing and improving digital product and service innovation, Business Horizons 58, pp. 57—67
4. Thomas, L., Autio, E., and Gann, D. (2014) Architectural leverage: putting platforms in context,The Academy of Management Perspectives, 2014, Vol. 28, No. 2, 198–219.
Supplementary literature list:
1. Michael E. Porter (2001) Strategy and the Internet, 18 p.
2. Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur (2009), Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers, Wiley; A 72 pages preview free download:
3. K. Staykova, J. Damsgaard, (2015). The race to dominate the mobile payments platform: Entry and expansion strategies, Electronic Commerce Research and Applications, In Press, 12p.
4. A.Hagiu and J.Wright (2013) Marketplace or reseller?,Harvard Working Paper 13-092.


1. HBS Case: Edelman,B., Eisenmann,Thomas R. (2011). Google Inc. in 2014, HBS Case 915004-PDF-ENG, 24 p. 
2. ECCH Case: Yablonsky, S. (2012/2015) Yandex: The Russian Google (Case). — The European Case Clearing House (ECCH). 912-041-1. 39 p. 
3. HBS Case: TopCoder (A): Developing Software through Crowdsourcing, Revision Date: May 31, 2012, Product number: 610032-PDF-ENG, Length: 20p.

TietoCase groupings

Case grouping (3-4 students) will be made in advance and published on Blackboard course site.

Start-up groupings

Startup grouping (3-4 students) will be made in advance and published on Blackboard course site.

Course Deliverables:

Students need to deliver the following assignments:
• Group work: case report (Tieto)
o Max 3 page report + 2 powerpoint slides
• Group work: business plan
o Max 3 page report + 2 powerpoint slides
• Student presentations (Business plan, Tieto)
o Max 10 minute presentation on each assignment

• Class case discussions (lectures, Google, Yandex, TopCoder)

Grading Policy:

Students will be evaluated:
• 20% Group case report (Tieto)
• 20% Group case presentation (Tieto)
• 20% Group start-up business plan
• 20% Group start-up business plan presentation
• 20% Class case discussions (participation in discussions during the course, discussion on cases Google, Yandex, TopCoder)

Grading Scale:

The grading system of the AALTO & GSOM blocked seminar will be adjusted according to the ECTS system.

Evaluation criteria:

The criteria used in the evaluation of the students are:
• Understanding of the key concepts, creative and logical thinking
• Depth of the analysis
• Clarity and consistency of written and oral argumentation

Strategic management and entrepreneurial tools

The Business Model Canvas/Mindjet - strategic management and entrepreneurial tools. All links for working demos & user guides & tutorials will be published in advance and published on Blackboard course site:


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