Title: Different patterns of value creation in the portal industry

Authors: Helmut M. Dietl, Susanne Royer

Addresses: Institute of Organization and International Management, University of Paderborn, Paderborn, Germany. Institute of Organization and International Management, University of Paderborn, Paderborn, Germany

Abstract: This paper identifies different strategic groups in the portal industry to provide insight into the possibilities of value creation in this business. The objective is to determine the underlying factors that differentiate a good performing portal provider from an unsuccessful one. It investigates how incumbents in this industry can defend themselves against new entrants. Overall, the results of the study lead to the conclusion that the competitors in the portal business have possibilities to add value. Portals can be a value-adding additional feature embedded in an overall strategy. A differentiation strategy is another possibility to add value in this industry. Switching costs increase over time because of increasing personalisation of portals. Additionally, first mover advantages can lead to high psychological switching costs that are based on habit forming user bases.

Keywords: portals; value creation; differentiation; sustainable competitive advantage; switching costs; personalisation; strategic groups.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSTM.2001.001602

International Journal of Services Technology and Management, 2001 Vol.2 No.3/4, pp.237-251

Available online: 10 Jul 2003 *

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