Digital Capitalism meets Leberkaspeppi: Temporal Orientations in Business Models as a Source of Platform Power in Mature Industries

Activity: Talk or presentationConference PresentationsResearch

Elke Schüßler - Speaker

Sara Maric - Speaker

During the COVID-19 crisis, many traditional companies struggled to survive. At the same time, digital platforms such as Lieferando and Mjam were able to record increasing profits. Delivery platforms did not emerge as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but have been active in large cities for several years and are presenting the local food service industry with new challenges. While we have seen growing research on the difficult work situation of food delivery workers, little is known about the relationship between delivery platforms and restaurants. Using the example of the food service industry in Linz, Austria, this research project tried to understand how restaurants strategically position themselves in relation to platforms. The results show that neither the restaurants nor their interest groups perceive platforms as new competitors. As a result, no strategies are developed to strengthen restaurants’ market position in the long term. A similar pattern has been observed in mature industries even before digitalization, with incumbents prone to stick to outdated "industry recipes" instead of adapting their business models to environmental changes. While restaurants are oriented on tradition and the past, platforms are radically future-oriented, operating on a long-term vision of ‘taking over’ and monopolizing traditional industries. We argue that these temporal orientations themselves become a source of power, and constitute an interesting avenue for future research. Finally, we derive a practitioners-oriented set of strategic options for action with which restaurants can deal with food delivery platforms from our analysis.


38th EGOS Colloquium: Organizing: The Beauty of imperfection


Wien, Austria

Event: Conference