‘Breaking the Mirror’ to Face Digital Convergence: The Role of Selective Mirroring in the Trade-Off between Value Creation and Capture Mechanisms

Keywords: Business ecosystem, Digital convergence, Mirroring hypothesis, Modularity, Value capture


This research questions the mirroring hypothesis in the context of digital convergence. The mirroring hypothesis suggests that the organization of innovation activities tends to mirror the technical architecture of products. When the architecture is modular, such mirroring optimizes the management of innovation activities. But it can also limit the ability of incumbent firms to adapt to technological discontinuities. Digital convergence is a source of discontinuities that transform the conditions of value creation and capture within industries. It leads to new complementarities that push incumbents to collaborate with firms coming from other industries within emerging ecosystems. How does the mirroring between product architecture and organization evolve in the face of the new challenges of value creation and capture brought by digital convergence? This question is addressed through a qualitative case study of the organization of innovation activities between Renault and its partners in the field of embedded automotive electronics. The results show that the automaker ‘breaks the mirror’ through a strategy of selective mirroring that allows it to collaborate with new complementors and to reconfigure its mechanisms of value creation and capture.


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Author Biography

Alexandre Azoulay, Groupe de recherche en droit, économie et gestion (Gredeg), Université Côte d’Azur, CNRS, Sophia Antipolis, France

Alexandre Azoulay defended his PhD thesis in management science at GREDEG, Université Côte d’Azur. His work explores the influence of product architecture on the structure of business ecosystems, with a particular emphasis on ecosystems resulting from digital convergence. Through his PhD thesis he focused specifically on the transformation of automotive ecosystems due to the advent of connected, autonomous, shared and electric (CASE) vehicles.


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How to Cite
Azoulay A. (2023). ‘Breaking the Mirror’ to Face Digital Convergence: The Role of Selective Mirroring in the Trade-Off between Value Creation and Capture Mechanisms. M@n@gement, 26(3), 52-74. https://doi.org/10.37725/mgmt.2023.7762
Original Research Articles