Multiple-case analysis on governance mechanisms of multi-sided platforms

Andreas Hein, Maximilian Schreieck, Manuel Wiesche, and Helmut Krcmar, (2016) – Multikonferenz Wirtschaftsinformatik (pp. 9-11)

By using multi-sided platforms (MSPs), internet-based companies such as Airbnb or Uber have been on the rise in the recent years, challenging long-established industries. Platform governance orchestrates the communication between involved parties and therefore plays a key role in MSPs. In this paper, the governance of six different MSPs are discussed. Aiming to pin down how different mechanisms are implemented in practice, the paper also touches on the trade-offs following different implementation strategies.


The concept of multi-sided platforms (MSPs) plays an important role in the environment of companies with internet-based business models. In the recent years several new platforms emerged and disrupted long-established companies. Prominent examples are Uber or Airbnb, challenging the taxi and accommodation industry. The centerpiece of MSPs is the platform governance which orchestrates the communication between the involved parties. As this communication is crucial for each platform, this paper aims to analyze six different MSPs in terms of platform governance to identify how different mechanisms are implemented in practice and which tradeoffs different implementation strategies cause. The paper starts with a literature review to determine the state of research on platform governance mechanisms and synthesizes the results. After that, a multiple-case study is conducted to identify how the different companies implemented each dimension of platform governance. In a final step cross-case conclusions are drawn to highlight important tradeoffs, for example that centralized governance models offer a high degree of control in exchange for less user involvement and transparency when implementing governance mechanisms differently.

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