The Building Blocks of Software Platforms: Understanding the Past to Forge the Future

Journal of the Association for Information Systems, Forthcoming

58 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2021

See all articles by He Li

He Li

Clemson University - Department of Management

William (Bill) J. Kettinger

Clemson Univeristy

Date Written: December 22, 2020

Abstract

This study takes a Review and Theory Development (RTD) approach to synthesize the software platform literature, offering theoretical perspective and research guidance. In doing so, we conceptualize platform and complementary capabilities for software platform owners and complementors. The review indicates that three dimensions reflect platform capabilities: intermediarity, generativity, and ambidexterity, while complementary capabilities include creativity, interconnectivity, and appropriability dimensions. We derive an integrative framework of software platforms, which explains (1) how software platform owners and complementors improve performance by enhancing their capabilities; and (2) how software platform owners, complementors, and the ecosystem environment co-evolve. We conclude with a discussion of how future research can build on and enrich the research framework.

Keywords: Software Platforms; Platform Capabilities; Complementary Capabilities; Software Ecosystems; Review and Theory Development; Emergent Framework; Future Platform Research

Suggested Citation

Li, He and Kettinger, William J., The Building Blocks of Software Platforms: Understanding the Past to Forge the Future (December 22, 2020). Journal of the Association for Information Systems, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3753768

He Li (Contact Author)

Clemson University - Department of Management

418 Wilbur O. and Ann Powers Hall
225 Walter T. Cox Blvd.
Clemson, SC 29634
United States

William J. Kettinger

Clemson Univeristy ( email )

101 Sirrine Hall
Clemson, SC 29634
United States

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