Ways to take action

Efficiency, diversity, openness... why switch to a platform-based organisation?

Denis Dauchy , Professor

In this article, originally published in HBR France, Denis Dauchy, Professor at EDHEC, highlights the advantages of a 'platform' organisational structure, while distinguishing between the pooling of operational assets and corporate governance.

Reading time :
4 Apr 2024

Every new context needs to put organisational methods into perspective. Business life today is marked by new forms of volatility and a succession of unpredictable crises. Digital assets and technologies have become essential and structuring factors, whatever the size or sector. More than ever before, the scope of business activities and business models are shaped by customer functionality (development of a usage-based economy) and by the impact on society.


As well as defining a market space, winning strategic approaches must therefore focus on integration within variable-geometry ecosystems. Rather than uniform approaches, companies are faced with the need to diversify their value propositions and to reinvent their business models more and more frequently. Organisations are finding it difficult to keep up with these new rhythms.


Functional and divisional organisations are still very much in evidence

A study of the composition of management teams reveals a great deal about the dominant architecture of decision-making and action. The division of functional responsibilities (production, sales, finance, etc.) remains the basic configuration of many firms, even when several operational units coexist. There is too little cross-functional thinking when it comes to "getting ready for battle". The logic of "silos" too often prevails over customer focus. The scalability of assets to keep pace with growth potential is also a frequent challenge.


Groups, for their part, are known for their divisional organisation into "business units", which are themselves, more often than not, under the sway of functional silos. A form of internal governance between the "corporate" (often sacralised as a place of central power) and the units is establishing itself as a dominant pattern. Frequent attempts to create a matrix between criteria (functions, geographies, product lines, etc.) do nothing to improve clarity, or to channel energies towards customer value propositions and agility.


Platform configuration overcomes functional and divisional syndromes

Pooling assets and operations within a cross-divisional platform is not a new approach. Carmakers have long used industrial platforms dedicated to one type of vehicle and shared by several units and brands. However, the rise of digital assets highlights this logic in a new and inescapable way ("Platform strategy", by Laure Claire Reillier and Benoit Reillier, Routledge, 2017).

The very term 'platform' is intrinsically linked to the digital world, be it operating systems, infrastructures or data...


Pour lire cet article en intégralité en français, rendez-vous directement sur hbrfrance.fr

Efficacité, diversité, ouverture… pourquoi passer à une organisation en mode "plateforme" ?
4 Apr 2024
Efficiency, diversity, openness... why switch to a platform-based organisation?
Suggested text for posting
Texte Twitter
#EDHECVox Adapt or disappear?
In this article, originally published in HBR France, Denis Dauchy, EDHEC Professor presents the methods and advantages of a 'platform' configuration
Linkedin text
#EDHECVox Adapt or disappear?
Despite being shaken by the rise of digital technology, successive crises and the need to make a (positive) impact, companies are finding it hard to change the way they are organised, which is too often 'siloed'.

In this article, originally published in HBR France, Denis Dauchy, Professor at #EDHEC, presents the methods and advantages of a 'platform' configuration. This pooling of assets and operations within cross-functional units - or platforms - is synonymous with efficiency, diversity and openness.

To read this article:

#MakeAnImpact #PassionNeverRests #Innovation

Other items you may be
interested in


Are You a Micromanager?

  • Julia Milner , Professor

Are professional cycling teams too dependent on their sponsors?

  • Olga Kokshagina , Associate Professor
  • Clément Blachon , Etudiant Master in Management