Towards a Theory of Motivations and Roles in Business Ecosystems


  • Margaret Mastropetrou University of the Aegean
  • George Bithas
  • Konstadinos Kutsikos



business ecosystems, ecosystem stakeholders, motivations, roles, value co-creation, innovation


Focusing on the role of networking organizational structure, the literature on innovation management has turned towards value co-creation. The need for value co-creation has emerged from the fact that, in order for firms to cater for their customers’ needs, they cannot deliver on their own as single entities, but rather participate in business ecosystems. Ecosystems are a fundamental occurrence of the academic literature, as well as the managerial world. In order to gain insight to the operations of ecosystems, a systematic literature was carried out. The research question concerned the motivations that drive participants to join a business ecosystem. Several frameworks were explored with a focus on the roles that participants might fill and their specific attributes. The findings suggest linking the stakeholders’ motivations to specific roles’ attributes, thus leading to the filling of a certain role. The outcomes are then reflected in the luxury goods industry, which is one of the richest and unmanageable sectors and bears the characteristics of an ecosystem. The contribution of this research is fundamental for the ecosystems operations, as the exploration of stakeholders’ motivations is essential for the sustainability of the ecosystem from a managerial perspective.