Innovation: Ecosystems

SMU Research

Professor Arnoud De Meyer, President of Singapore Management University, shares about his research on Innovation in Ecosystems, and the advantages it can offer companies in an age of disruption.

What are the some of the strategies involved in becoming a successful lead firm? Is this a viable alternative to vertical integration?

Join Professor Arnoud, with his co-author, Professor Peter Williamson (Judge Business School, University of Cambridge), as they discuss the genesis of this research, and two brief case studies of successful lead companies, Arm ( and Dassault Systèmes (, that have powerfully shaped the formation of business ecosystems around them to fuel their growth and enhance their returns.


Prior to becoming President of SMU, Arnoud De Meyer was Professor of Management Studies at the University of Cambridge (UK) and Director of Judge Business School. He was also a visiting professor at the Universities of Kiel (Germany), Ghent and Antwerp (Belgium) and Waseda and Keio University (Japan). Before joining Judge Business School, Professor De Meyer was associated for 23 years with INSEAD as a professor and as Dean for the MBA programme, Executive Education and the Euro Asia Centre. He was also the founding Dean of INSEAD’s Asia Campus in Singapore. Professor De Meyer has been a part-time professor at the University of Antwerp and Ghent in Belgium, and was a visiting professor at the University of Kiel, Waseda University in Tokyo, Keio University in Tokyo, and the Birla Institute of Technology in India.

Research Interests: Manufacturing and Technology Strategy; the implementation of new manufacturing technologies; the management of R&D; how innovation can be managed more effectively; project management under conditions of high uncertainty; management and innovation in Asia; the globalisation of Asian firms; the management of novel projects.

Research Article: WILLIAMSON, Peter James and DE MEYER, Arnoud. Ecosystem Advantage: How to Successfully Harness the Power of Partners. (2012). California Management Review. 55, (1), 24-46. Research Collection Lee Kong Chian School Of Business. Available at:…

Abstract: Changes in the global environment are generating opportunities for companies to build advantage by creating loosely coupled networks or ecosystems. Ecosystems are larger, more diverse, and more fluid than a traditional set of bilateral partnerships or complementors. By leveraging ecosystems, companies can deliver complex solutions while maintaining corporate focus. This article describes six keys to unlock ecosystem advantage: pinpointing where value is created, defining an architecture of differentiated partner roles, stimulating complementary partner investments, reducing the transaction costs, facilitating joint learning across the network, and engineering effective ways to capture profit.

Produced by Office of Integrated Information Technology Services (IITS) Singapore Management University

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Innovation: Ecosystems | SMU Research

by EcosystemEdge