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Department of Business and Economics
Master Thesis

Master thesis on "digital platforms" in collaboration with Dolezych GmbH & Co. KG, Dortmund

Digital platforms represent a foster a multi-sided interaction between a focal company, partners, and customers. The world's largest companies, such as Apple, Facebook, Google and Amazon, use digital platforms as part of their business model. A unique selling point of these two- or multi-sided markets is the direct exchange of data via the platform itself and the resulting network effects - the more players are active on a platform, the greater the benefit for other participants (Anderson et al., 2014; Eisenmann et al., 2006; Tiwana, 2014).

Well known in consumer industries, an increasing "platformization" in the B2B sector becomes apparent, where manufacturers and retailers use digital platforms to generate additional value for their customers (Reuver et al., 2017). Due to the significant increase in digital platforms, the literature distinguishes between transaction-based and innovation-based digital platforms (Cusumano et al., 2020). Digital platforms such as marketplaces, social networks or industry platforms can also adopt hybrid patterns (Gawer & Cusumano, 2014).

This master thesis will focus on understanding digital platform based business models. Together with the partner company Dolezych GmbH & Co. KG, Dortmund, the applicant will conduct qualitative, interview-based research on understanding the different phases of digital platform ecosystems. The goal of the master thesis is to conduct a detailed analysis regarding the structure and potential scaling of a platform. Thereby economic aspects such as market position and market environment will be examined and evaluated in detail.

Our partner company Dolezych GmbH & Co. KG is a SME medium-sized family business from Dortmund with more than 650 employees in a total of eight locations worldwide. Since more than 85 years, the name Dolezych stands for competence and performance. Products and services that meet the highest quality standards make Dolezych one of the top addresses in rope, lifting, slinging and load securing technology.


Anderson, E. G., Parker, G. G., & Tan, B. (2014). Platform Performance Investment in the Presence of Network Externalities. Information Systems Research, 25

(1), 152–172.

Cusumano, M. A., Yoffie, D. B., & Gawer, A. (2020). The Future of Platforms. MIT Sloan Management Review, 61(3), 46-54.

Eisenmann, T., Parker, G., & van Alstyne, M. (2006). Strategies for two-sided markets. Harvard Business Review, 84, 92-101+149.

Gawer, A., & Cusumano, M. A. (2014). Industry Platforms and Ecosystem Innovation. Journal of Product Innovation Management, 31

(3), 417–433.

Reuver, M. de, Sørensen, C., & Basole, R. (2017). The digital platform: a research agenda. Journal of Information Technology.

Advance online publication.

Tiwana, A. (2014). Platform ecosystems: Aligning architecture, governance, and strategy. Elsevier/Morgan Kaufmann.


If you are interested in this topic, please send your application documents by e-mail via abschlussarbeit.dt.wiwitu-dortmundde