On the openness of digital platforms/ecosystems

TitleOn the openness of digital platforms/ecosystems
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsTeixeira, J
Refereed DesignationRefereed
Secondary TitleOpenSym 2015, the 11th International Symposium on Open Collaboration
Date Published08/2015

A plenitude of technology is neither developed in-house nor
simply outsourced in dyadic relationships. Instead, we are in
a new age where technologies are developed by a networked
community of actors and organizations, which base their
relations dynamically to each other on a common interest.
Such dynamic and networked complexity of technology development
is often theoretical explored around the concept
of platform, and more recently by employing the concept of
ecosystem in an analogy to natural ecosystems. Following the
success of open-source software, academics have long been
examining openness in digital platforms/ecosystems; however
most contributions take the perspective of a single stakeholder
from the many that constitute a digital platform/ecosystem.
Predominantly, they take the sole perspective of platform
providers, those bundling hardware and software or more
rarely, the perspective of third-party software developers developing
valuable software ’apps’ that add value to the overall
platform. In this conceptual article, we grasp openness more
holistically, both by acknowledging that openness means different
things to different people and involve all stakeholders
within the platforms/ecosystems. Towards the development
of a theory of openness within digital settings, we propose
six novel aspects of openness for enabling a greater understanding
of the open-source software movement with a digital
platforms/ecosystems perspective. Moreover, we invite scholars
to reconsider the more predominating product-dominant
logic in open-source software research to a more holistic logic
embracing platforms and ecosystem thinking.

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