Evolutionary Dynamics in Software Ecosystems
Professor Amrit TIWANA
Department of Management Information Systems
Terry College of Business
University of Georgia
With competition migrating to rival software-based, platform-centric ecosystems, attracting and retaining third-party developers outside firm boundaries is increasingly important. Such “app” developers often provide critically-differentiating technical innovations and new ideas, thus are vital to a platform’s success. This study addresses the underexplored question of how and why platform modularity—both technical and organizational—influences platform abandonment by platform developers. We introduce the notion of systems integration costs—which comprise both cross-app integration and app-platform integration—as a key explanatory construct in our nomological network.
We develop three ideas, building on modular systems theory. First, a decrease in systems integration costs decreases the likelihood of platform abandonment by app developers. Second, different facets of technical modularity differentially impact systems integration costs. Third, these relationships are moderated by how authority over technical decisions is partitioned between an app developer and the platform owner. Tests using primary and five year archival data from developers of 342 apps for Mozilla’s Firefox browser platform largely support the proposed ideas.
- Van de Ven book chapter 4.
- Skim only: Sparrowe and Mayer, Publishing in AMJ Part 4: Grounding Hypotheses, 54(6), 2011.
- Tiwana-Konsynski 2010 read only §2.2 till the beginning of §2.3.1 only (focus on how the logical structure and statement of the hypotheses, how they build up stepwise, and the use of examples to illustrate the ideas) + the discussion on page 298 on rival explanations. These are marked as #4 in the file (The attachment will be provided later).