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2021/2022  KAN-CBUSV1701U  Digital Platforms (B)

English Title
Digital Platforms (B)

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Elective
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Semester
Start time of the course Spring
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Max. participants 120
Study board
BUS Study Board for BSc/MSc in Business Administration and Information Systems, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Christiane Lehrer - Department of Digitalisation
Main academic disciplines
  • Information technology
  • Innovation
  • Strategy
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 09-02-2021

Relevant links

Learning objectives
  • Identify and describe the specific characteristics of digital platforms and digital ecosystems.
  • Describe and apply concepts, models, and principles of digital platforms.
  • Analyse the opportunities and challenges for companies taking part in digital platform economy.
  • Explain the business and consequences of taking part of digital ecosystems.
  • Reflect on current and potential future developments in the digital arena and develop suggestions on new business opportunities and challenges in the digital economy.
Course prerequisites
Strategic and tactical tools should be passed or sufficient knowledge in business terminology (The course has some overlaps with Digital Business Models and students should not take both)
Prerequisites for registering for the exam (activities during the teaching period)
Number of compulsory activities which must be approved (see section 13 of the Programme Regulations): 1
Compulsory home assignments
There is a mandatory group assignment of max. 10 pages (mini-case with presentation in class) that addresses the concepts, models, and principles of digital platforms.
The presentations are given in class by the exam groups drawing on a self-selected case for illustration.

If a student cannot hand in due to documented illness, or if a student does not get the activity approved in spite of making a real attempt, then the student will be given one extra attempt before the ordinary exam. The extra attempt will require handing in a written report of 10 pages on a topic assigned by the course instructor.
Digital Platforms:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Home assignment - written product
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Case based assignment
Duration 24 hours to prepare
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) One internal examiner
Exam period Summer
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Description of the exam procedure

The assignment consists of a case analysis. The case will be decided during the actual course to ensure high relevance between course content and examination.

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

The world is becoming digital and digitalization is changing the conditions for business across industries. Based on the enabling capacities of digital technologies, new businesses models emerge that are no longer simply supported by digital technologies, but that have digital components inseparably inscribed into their value proposition. In a survey, 86% of CEO’s said that advances in digital technologies will transform their business over the next five years.


At the heart of this digital transformation rests an increased orientation towards digitally enabled platform-based business models with a different competitive model. Platforms comprise a large and rapidly growing share of the global economy. International giants, such as Amazon, Facebook, Uber, and Apple, are in the center of digital ecosystems that create opportunities and challenges. Many start-up and growth companies can today be found in the fast-growing businesses of digital marketing, app development, social media, online news and information services, and online innovation services. In addition, traditional businesses such as publishing, entertainment, and banking are facing an ongoing digitalization that drags them onto the digital arena – an economic arena with its own economic and competitive principles. Ranked by market value, 60 of the world’s 100 largest corporations earn at least half of their revenue from platform markets.


This course addresses the managerial challenges of platform-based business models and the business ecosystems surrounding them. The course takes an economic, technical, and organizational perspective on digital platforms. The theories and concepts covered relate to economic dynamics in platform markets, platform architecture, platform governance, monetization, and platform launch and growth.

Description of the teaching methods
The course evolves over three parallel strands: The first focusing on the competitive logic of the digital economy, the second addressing how to built digitally enabled platform businesses, and the third managing platform-based ecosystems.

Over 12 sessions (comprising of 2 lectures each), a combination of lecture-mode instruction and case discussion will be used to enable students to identify and describe characteristics, concepts, models, and principles of digital economy and platform-based ecosystems.

Following each session there will be additional 2 hour workshops, where students will work on digital platforms, developing knowledge and skills in describing opportunities, challenges and consequences of digital platforms. We will also work with the outlook for the fast-developing digital economy, and how these developments affect the business opportunities and challenges in the digital arena.

Students are expected to take active part in the workshops, in order to capture the most current trends and developments in the area. There is a mandatory group assignment (mini-case with presentation in class) in the application of concepts, models, and economic principles of platform economy, as well as description of (existing and future) opportunities and challenges in taking part of the digital economy.
Feedback during the teaching period
The course provides the following opportunities for feedback:

1) Every week, groups will have the chance to receive feedback on their work with lecture material and group projects during the interactive workshops.

2) Half-way through the course, students will have the chance to present their work-in-progress in class to receive feedback from teachers and peers on their group project as well as mastery of course material.

3) At the end of the course, teaching staff will hold an open Q&A session for collective feedback in preparation for the final exam assignment.

4) Throughout the course, individual questions can be addressed during office hours with respective teachers.
Student workload
Lectures 24 hours
Workshops 24 hours
Class preparations 96 hours
Exam and preparations 62 hours
Total 206 hours
Expected literature

The literature can be changed before the semester starts. Students are advised to find the final literature on Canvas before they buy any material.


Eisenmann, T., Parker, G., & Van Alstyne, M. W. (2006). Strategies for two-sided markets. Harvard Business Review, 84(10), 92-103.


Ghazawneh, A., & Henfridsson, O. (2013). Balancing platform control and external contribution in third‐party development: the boundary resources model. Information Systems Journal, 23(2), 173-192.


Parker, G., Van Alstyne, M., & Choudary, S. P. (2016). Platform revolution: how networked markets are transforming the economy and how to make them work for you.


Tiwana, A. (2013). Platform ecosystems: aligning architecture, governance, and strategy. Newnes.

Last updated on 09-02-2021