• Carliss Baldwin


April 2024, Paper: "For nearly a century, the key role of innovation in economic growth has been acknowledged and studied. Today, innovations are increasingly understood as being embedded in ecosystems of autonomous actors, whether firms, other organizations, or individuals. These actors contribute in complementary ways to create a value proposition that is greater than the sum of the parts, with the integration of their products and processes made possible by modular interfaces between actors. Here we review the emergence of the ecosystem lens within innovation studies in the context of the Special Issue on Innovation Ecosystems and Ecosystem Innovation. After summarizing the history of the special issue, we review the nine articles in the special issue and show how they relate to defining the actors, joint value creation by the actors, coordinating the actors, value capture by the actors, and then the large issue of analyzing ecosystems as the unit of analysis. From this, we offer suggestions for future ecosystem research, including opportunities to combine the ecosystem lens with other lenses used in innovation studies, and new methods for studying ecosystem phenomena."