The development paths and relationships of value creation and capture: an investigation of digital ventures using System Dynamics

Lycko, M. ORCID: 0000-0002-2500-6463, 2022. The development paths and relationships of value creation and capture: an investigation of digital ventures using System Dynamics. PhD, Nottingham Trent University.

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Purpose: While many digital ventures strive for high growth, they may neglect developing an ability to capture value, causing their failure or dependence on investors' funding. Therefore, this thesis aims to develop an understanding of the requirements and priorities allowing digital ventures to develop an ability to capture value while growing their value creation. It investigates how digital ventures' growth in value creation and ability to capture value develop over time and the relationships between these two performance outcomes.

Methods: This thesis develops a System Dynamics model to represent the complex system and processes that affect value creation and capture. The basis for this model is the synthesis of two contemporary growth process theories - growth paths theory and dynamic states theory - and their adaptation for the context of digital ventures. The model is validated using secondary data from four case studies. It simulates scenarios to identify development patterns and relationships of value creation and capture.

Findings: By synthesising growth paths and dynamic states theory, this thesis reveals the dynamic relationships between performance outcomes, resources, and capabilities. These elements change continuously through the feedback loops connecting them. It also identifies the influence of discontinuous changes in contextual variables regarding a venture’s environment, business model design, capability development, and dominant logic on those feedback loops. The scenario simulations reveal two development patterns that depend on a venture’s dominant logic. Ventures unwilling to increase their employee numbers exhibit goal-seeking development towards natural levels of value creation and capture. The trajectories and levels towards which ventures develop depend on the contextual factors. Ventures willing to grow by hiring more employees experience exponential growth in value creation. They develop towards a lower ability to capture value in a goal-seeking manner, pointing to adverse effects of growth on the ability to capture value during growth periods. When ventures begin to exploit their established size rather than growing aggressively, economies of scale improve their ability to capture value, highlighting a beneficial relationship between growth in value creation and value capture after periods of growth.

Implications: Conflicting with the common belief among digital entrepreneurs, this thesis indicates that growth has only minor positive effects on capturing value. Instead of trying to grow themselves profitable, digital ventures need to ensure that their conceptual factors allow them to develop an ability to capture value. They need to select an appropriate environment and business model before growing. They should also pursue continuous improvements to raise their natural performance levels. These two elements are required to create the conditions to grow value creation and develop an ability to capture value. Digital ventures may need to change their priorities. They may pursue lower growth rates to maintain their ability to capture value or obtain funding to sustain high-growth periods. Moreover, digital ventures also need to consider exploiting their established size rather than pursuing further growth.

Contribution: This thesis provides a comprehensive formal growth process theory for digital ventures focussing on two performance outcomes. It provides an overview of the complex system and processes driving value creation and capture using a System Dynamics model. It illustrates possible development paths of value creation and capture and their relationships for digital ventures, contributing to unsettled questions in the performance management literature and challenging digital entrepreneurs’ beliefs. Those practitioners can use the model to approximate the development of their ventures, and researchers can adapt it to investigate growth and performance in non-digital companies.

Item Type: Thesis
Creators: Lycko, M.
Date: October 2022
Rights: The copyright in this work is held by the author. You may copy up to 5% of this work for private study, or personal, non-commercial research. Any re-use of the information contained within this document should be fully referenced, quoting the author, title, university, degree level and pagination. Queries or requests for any other use, or if a more substantial copy is required, should be directed to the author.
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 17 Jan 2023 12:15
Last Modified: 17 Jan 2023 12:15

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