We adopt a structural embeddedness perspective to explore how network structure shapes the type of value-creation opportunities that digital intermediaries can exploit and to understand the capabilities that they require to be successful in the context of different network structures. Through two comparative case studies, we find that different tie architectures and exchange structures form the push forces to shape the opportunities for digital intermediaries. Based on the type of network position they intend to occupy, digital intermediaries can increase their chance of success by developing distinct capabilities for bridging and/or bonding. The two cases also show that bridging benefits may be easier to obtain but harder to defend and scale, while bonding benefits are harder to obtain but easier to defend and scale. The findings are used to develop theoretical propositions related to successful digital intermediation in different network structures.
- digital intermediation
- structural embeddedness