Market orchestrators: The effects of certification on platforms and their complementors

Joost Rietveld, Robert Seamans, Katia Meggiorin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We study how a multisided platform's decision to certify a subset of its complementors affects those complementors and ultimately the platform itself. Kiva, a microfinance platform, introduced a social performance badging program in December 2011. The badging program appears to have been beneficial to Kiva-it led to more borrowers, lenders, total funding, and amount of funding per lender. To better understand the mechanisms behind this performance increase, we study how the badging program changed the bundle of products offered by Kiva's complementors. We find that Kiva's certification leads badged microfinance institutions to reorient their loan portfolio composition to align with the certification and that the extent of portfolio reorientation varies across microfinance institutions, depending on underlying demand- and supply-side factors. We further show that certified microfinance institutions that do align their loan portfolios enjoy stronger demand-side benefits than do certified microfinance institutions that do not align their loan portfolios. We therefore demonstrate that platforms can influence the product offerings and performance of their complementors-and, subsequently, the performance of the ecosystem overall-through careful enactment of governance strategies, a process we call "market orchestration".

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)244-264
Number of pages21
JournalStrategy Science
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2021


  • Certification
  • Complementors
  • Multisided platforms
  • Platform governance
  • Sharing economy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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