Research on the Evaluation of Business Ecosystem Health

By Qiang, Li; Xiaoping, Li et al. | Cross - Cultural Communication, October 1, 2012 | Go to article overview

Research on the Evaluation of Business Ecosystem Health


Qiang, Li, Xiaoping, Li, Qi, Zhang, Cross - Cultural Communication


Abstract

By analyzing the connotation and measurement scale of business ecosystem health on the basis of Ecological theory, Complex Systems theory, Complex Adaptive theory and Business Ecosystem theory, this paper analyzes the basic attributes of business ecosystem from five aspects-ecological attributes, structure attributes, functional attributes, operation mechanism attributes and lifecycle attributes. According to the mechanism of promoting system health, the paper constructs 5 level 2 indexes corresponding to 28 level 3 indexes. Based on the Evaluation model, using the Analytic Hierachy Process (AHP) and the Fuzzy Comprehensive Evaluation Method, the paper evaluates Information Technology Business Ecosystem Health in China.

Key Words: Business ecosystem; Health; Information technology; Business ecosystem; AHP

(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)

INTRODUCTION

The business ecosystem featured in industrial convergence and the cyber economy has become a new business operating environment for enterprises. Business ecosystem health influences not only the performance of enterprises, but also their achievements. This is why enterprises always attach great importance to the evaluation and administration of the health of their business ecosystem in new environments.

OVERVIEW OF BUSINESS ECOSYSTEM HEALTH

The investigation of Business Ecosystem Health (BEH) was first originated by M. Iansiti and R. Levien (2004). They did not concretely define the meaning of BEH but put forward three angles of evaluation, namely from aspects of productivity, vitality and creativity of niche market, though without any specific assessment program (Lansiti & Levien, 2004, p. 36-58).

Guo Hubin, Zhang Junren and Shao Rujun (2006) elaborated on five attributes contained in business ecosystem: logical community structure, favorable nonphysical environment, efficient system productivity, sustainability and coordination of management mechanism (Hu, Zhang, & Shao, 2006, p. 59-61). They interpreted BEH as the capability to efficiently and continuously create more valuable products and services and constructed 16 Level-three indexes based on it. Later studies on BEH by Hu Bin (2008) indicated that it should be a dynamic process and thus expanded the indexes to 7 Level-two indexes and 30 corresponding Level-three indexes, these being the abiotic environment, health and similarity of enterprises members, composition diversity, function flow of system, degrees of perfection of operating mechanism, performance of overall system operation and system vitality (Hu, 2008, p. 58-61).

Zhang Wenhong defined BEH as the ecosystem itself as being able to sustain stability and develop continuously with resistibility to external pressure (Zhang, 2007, p. 4042). Accordingly, Zhang proposed 8 evaluatory indicators based on dynamics, levels, creativity, pertinence and cumulative vulnerability of ecological theory. The 8 indicators being - energy, vitality, resilience, service to maintain business ecosystem, transmission on innovation, investment reduction, harm to neighbor system and effect on human health.

Li Dong suggested another business ecosystem function whose overall performance index can be divided into power performance, inclusivcncss and robustness, which is similar to BEH but with distinct differences [5].The complexity of business ecosystem and its multi-dimensionally associated factors affecting its health have resulted in disagreement surrounding evaluating system health [6]. The abovementioned conceptions and indexes of BEH as well as investigations and assessment of its evaluating indicators by domestic and foreign scholars has certainly led to a greater understanding of BEH and completion of its index system, but the BEH index from a metaphoric angle of ecology by those scholars also has limitations.

Business ecosystem as an enterprise managing network has emerged in new business environments with its operation health profoundly affected by structure, function and lifecycle as well as industrial technology and policy. …

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