Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=519024
 
 

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Nurturing Software: How Societal Institutions Shape the Development of Software


Rajiv C. Shah


University of Illinois at Chicago - Department of Communication; Illinois State University

Jay P. Kesan


University of Illinois College of Law


Communications of the ACM, vol. 48, no. 9, pp. 80-85 (Sept. 2005).

Abstract:     
It is widely recognized that software affects fundamental societal concerns, such as privacy. Software does not just appear, but is produced within a variety of societal institutions. This article analyzes how societal institutions shape the development of software and its resulting implications for society. Specifically, we consider how institutional rules are evident in the different structures, motivations, and influences of four societal institutions. We begin by discussing universities and continue on to firms, consortia, and the open source movement. Once we understand how all of these factors operate, we can offer predictions on the resulting attributes of software. In the final section, we show how these institutional factors explain the variation in the development of web browsers as well as in the incorporation of the societal value of security into software.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 7

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Date posted: March 19, 2004  

Suggested Citation

Shah, Rajiv C. and Kesan, Jay P., Nurturing Software: How Societal Institutions Shape the Development of Software. Communications of the ACM, Vol. 48, No. 9, pp. 80-85, September 2005. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=519024

Contact Information

Rajiv Shah
University of Illinois at Chicago - Department of Communication ( email )
Chicago, IL 60612
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.rajivshah.com
Illinois State University ( email )
Normal, IL 61790
United States
Jay P. Kesan (Contact Author)
University of Illinois College of Law ( email )
504 E. Pennsylvania Avenue
Champaign, IL 61820
United States
217-333-7887 (Phone)
217-244-1478 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://www.jaykesan.com
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