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Mobile platform owners are faced with a tension. On one hand they foster generativity to enable third parties to innovate compelling services. On the other hand they regulate innovation on their platforms in order to protect their commercial interests. This tension leads to complex interactions between platform owners and third parties as they negotiate the extent and nature of innovation. This paper outlines on-going research that applies structural narrative analysis in order to simplify these complex interactions into sequences of simpler generic generative and controlling actions. It is intended that these simplified structured sequences of actions will facilitate the identification of the mechanisms that explain how platform owners manage innovation and the paradox of control and generativity. The approach to analysis is illustrated using empirical data concerning interactions that have occurred on the Apple iPhone and Google Android platforms. This data is sourced from blogs reporting events in the mobile industry.
Date of Conference: 20-21 June 2011