Starting in the early 1990s, James F. Moore originated the strategic planning concept of a business ecosystem, now concept of ecosystem pdf adopted in the high tech community. The basic definition comes from Moore’s book, The Death of Competition: Leadership and Strategy in the Age of Business Ecosystems.
An economic community supported by a foundation of interacting organizations and individuals—the organisms of the business world. The economic community produces goods and services of value to customers, who are themselves members of the ecosystem. The member organisms also include suppliers, lead producers, competitors, and other stakeholders.
Over time, they coevolve their capabilities and roles, and tend to align themselves with the directions set by one or more central companies. Those companies holding leadership roles may change over time, but the function of ecosystem leader is valued by the community because it enables members to move toward shared visions to align their investments, and to find mutually supportive roles. Mangrove Software, The Montague Institute, Kenneth L. Kraemer, director of the University of California, Irvine’s Center for Research on Information Technology and Organizations and Stephen Abram, Vice President of Micromedia, Ltd.
Tom Gruber, co-founder and CTO of Intraspect Software, Vinod K. Company, have all advocated this approach. Gruber explains that over a century ago, Ford Motors did well using methods of mass production, an assembly line, and insourcing. Internet are the equivalents of large-scale climate change.
Books also use natural systems metaphors without discussing the interfaces between human business and biological ecosystems. Business ecology is based on the elegant structure and principles of natural systems.
Some environmentalists have used “business ecosystems” as a way to talk about environmental issues as they relate to business rather than as a metaphor to describe the increasing complexity of relationships among companies. According to Townsend, business ecology is the study of the reciprocal relationship between business and organisms and their environments.
The goal of this “business ecology” is sustainability through the complete ecological synchronization and integration of a business with the sites that it inhabits, uses, and affects. Other environmentalists believe that the ecosystem metaphor is just a way for business to appear ‘Green’. According to author Alan Marshall, the metaphor is used to make out that somehow business operates using natural principles which should be left to run without interference by governments. The Unity of Nature: Wholeness and Disintegration in Ecology and Science.
Business Ecology: Giving Your Organization the Natural Edge. Corporate DNA: Learning from Life. Why the Valley Way is Here to Stay”.
Archived from the original on September 10, 2001. Tools for Thought: What is New and Different about the E-conomy”.