My research project
Perceptions of Value Creation on an Open Access Events Platform: An Exploration of Participant Interactions at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe
With the rise of companies such as Airbnb and Uber there is now considerable focus on the disruptive role of so-called platform business models. Scholars and practitioners alike are concerned with the strategic and managerial challenges of this paradigm shift, as more organisations adopt such structures. In their purest form, multi-sided platforms facilitate transactions between disparate parties while neither participating in the transactions nor pre-determining their final outcomes. They are neutral matchmakers – turbocharged by the forces of global competition, greater affluence, increased transparency and the exponential rise in the availability of inexpensive computing power. Despite the dominance of these new models, how value is created through specific interactions between participants is not well understood. Open access (non-curated) events such as fringe festivals provide a unique opportunity to explore how the process of direct engagement between participants (e.g. performers and venues) creates value for themselves and the platform as a whole. Through an in-depth study of the Edinburgh Fringe - the world's leading international arts festival - this research proposes a framework to both identify the distinguishing characteristics of successful platform interactions and to understand how such interactions support the processes of effective value creation. By adopting the conceptual lens of platform theory, the recognised need within the events literature to draw on other social science discourses to develop theory and advance knowledge is addressed. From a managerial perspective the study provides insights enabling managers across the service sector to design platforms offering the greatest scope for value creation.
Prior to her doctoral studies, Elizabeth worked as a management consultant in both the USA & UK. She holds an MBA from Harvard Business School (where she also worked as a Research Associate), as well as a BA in History from Harvard University and an MSc in International Events Management from the University of Surrey.