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Module Specifications

Archived Version 2022 - 2023

Module Title
Module Code

Online Module Resources

NFQ level 8 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

This module introduces students to the metaphor and logic of Digital Business Ecosystems. Learners are provided with a grounding and understanding of the ecosystem concept, commencing with an appreciation of the historical evolution of technology culminating in the 4th Industrial Revolution. Ecosystems are then unpacked to explore key theoretical underpinnings, key actors and actions, and how value can be created. Through this journey, learners will discover the significance of eco-systems concepts such as modularity, multilateralism co-ordination, and platforms in providing opportunities and challenges for digital business creation and evolution. Key concepts are applied via an assessment which explores the operationalization of eco-systems in a specific context (entrepreneurship, healthcare, manufacturing, education) both to explore evolution and also to map out future scenarios. The module ends with an appreciation of prospective unintended consequences and value destruction in eco-systems, including lock in effects and path dependency.

Learning Outcomes

1. understand the meaning and role of business eco-systems
2. Identify and explore the key eco-system actors
3. explore value creation in digital business eco-systems
4. gain an awareness and understanding of the creation, evolution and destruction of eco-systems

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture24No Description
Workshop24No Description
Online activity25No Description
Directed learning80No Description
Assignment Completion97No Description
Total Workload: 250

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Why we are where we are
Understanding the evolution of technological progress through the agricultural, industrial, computing and the 4th industrial revolution.

Theory and meaning of eco-systems
What is an ecosystem? Networks effects, Metcalfe's law, complex Systems, value chains, platforms and co-creation. Eco-systems in differing context (e.g. healthcare, entrepreneurship, manufacturing).

Eco-systems actors and actions
Identifying key actors. The economics of bits and the economics of atoms. Exploring how companies can organise internally to manage ecosystems.

Value creation in eco-systems
Understanding collaboration. From alliances to eco-systems. Modularity, Multilateralism and Co-ordination. Mapping business ecosystems and digital chains. New Organizational Forms.

What got us here, won’t get us there
Drivers of eco-system change and dynamics. Evolution and destruction in eco-systems. Lock in effects and path dependency. Panda’s Thumb of technology.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment% Examination Weight%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
Reassessment Requirement
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
Indicative Reading List

  • Frey, C. B.: 2019, The Technology Trap: Capital, Labour and Power in the Age of Automation, Princeton University Press.,
  • Corallo, A., Passiante, G., & Prencipe, A.: 2007, The Digital Business Ecosystem, Edward Elgar.,
Other Resources

44017, Website, Dietz, M., Khan, H., & Rab, I., 2020, How do companies create value from digital eco-systems? McKinsey Insights August. https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/mckinsey-digital/our-insights/how-do-companies-create-value-from-digital-ecosystems, https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/mckinsey-digital/our-insights/how-do-companies-create-value-from-digital-ecosystems, 44018, Website, BCG, 2020, Do You Need a Business Ecosystem?, https://www.bcg.com/publications/2019/do-you-need-business-ecosystem,
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