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2023/2024  KAN-CDIBV1003U  Digital Platforms

English Title
Digital Platforms

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 60
Study board
Master of Science (MSc) in Business Administration and Digital Business
Course coordinator
  • Christiane Lehrer - Department of Digitalisation (DIGI)
Main academic disciplines
  • Information technology
  • Innovation
  • Strategy
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 01-02-2023

Relevant links

Learning objectives
To achieve the grade 12, students should meet the following learning objectives with no or only minor mistakes or errors:
  • Identify and describe the specific characteristics of digital platforms and digital ecosystems
  • Describe and apply concepts, models, and principles of digital platforms
  • Analyze the opportunities and challenges for companies taking part in the digital platform economy
  • Explain the business and consequences of taking part in 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
Release of assignment The Assignment is released in Digital Exam (DE) at exam start
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 business models emerge that are no longer simply supported by digital technologies, but that have digital components inseparably inscribed into their value proposition.


At the heart of this digital transformation is an increased focus on digitally enabled platform-based business models with a different competitive model. Platforms account for a large and rapidly growing share of the global economy. International giants such as Amazon, Facebook, Uber, and Apple are at the center of digital ecosystems that bring opportunities and challenges. But also many start-ups and, increasingly, traditional companies rely on platform-based business models.


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 on building digital platforms, and the third on 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 the 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 in-class presentation) on the application of concepts, models, and economic principles of the platform economy, as well as a description of the opportunities and challenges (both existing and future) of participating in 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 01-02-2023