We analyze organizational configurations of digital platforms for manufacturing according to two dimensions: platform functions and platform types. Platform functions refer to the organizational functions of platforms: manufacturing, data sharing, market making, and innovation. Platform types refer to a typology of how platforms are organized: as internal, supply chain, or industry type. We combine those dimensions into a framework and use that to analyze seven cases of digital platforms from the manufacturing sector. Our research answers calls for conceptual clarity and scoping of the digital platform concept and mends relative lack of attention toward digital platforms for the manufacturing sector. We find that digital platforms for manufacturing come in different, partly unexpected, configurations: (1) not all functions are necessarily organizationally part of the platform, (2) not all functions are necessarily organized according to the same platform type, but (3) also not all random configurations of platform types and functions seem to be possible. This complexity highlights the importance of the innovation function for exploring effective configurations of digital platforms for manufacturing.
- Digital platforms
- Platform innovation