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Software platform establishment: effectuation and entrepreneurial awareness

Journal article
Authors Ted Saarikko
K. Jonsson
T. Burstrom
Published in Information Technology & People
Volume 32
Issue 3
Pages 579-602
ISSN 0959-3845
Publication year 2019
Published at Department of Applied Information Technology (GU)
Pages 579-602
Language en
Keywords Skills, Case study, Business value of IT, Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), information-technology, systems-development, life-cycle, innovation, ecosystem, discovery, diffusion, business, creation, logic, Information Science & Library Science, akin e, 2002, transport res rec, p1
Subject categories Information technology


Purpose Faced with environments rife with technological uncertainties, software platforms have gained interest as enablers of innovative businesses and development processes. While extant research has focused on mature platforms, the authors know less about the early phases in a platform's life cycle. Drawing inspiration from the effectual perspective on entrepreneurship, the purpose of this paper is to further the understanding of how software platforms are established. Design/methodology/approach The authors develop a framework that describes four types of entrepreneurial awareness and then apply it to a qualitative case study of a platform that has emerged from the initial "creation" phase and is now in a period of rapid growth. Findings The study indicates that successful establishment of a software platform depends upon the provider's ability to integrate business acumen with technical proficiency and leverage these combined skills to ensure short-term viability and long-term relevance in the market. Originality/value The paper highlights the dependence of software platform establishment on the ability to enact both explorative and exploitative activity patterns, and embrace both strategic foresight and systemic insight cognitive patterns. The combined patterns of activity and cognition form four types of awareness, pertaining to markets, resources, technology and contexts.

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