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Balancing Platform Control and External Contribution in Third-Party Development: The Boundary Resources Model

Journal paper
Ghazawneh, A., Henfridsson, O.
Information Systems Journal, (23:2), pp. 173-192

Prior research documents the significance of using platform boundary resources (e.g. application programming interfaces) for cultivating platform ecosystems through third-party development. However, there are few, if any, theoretical accounts of this relationship. To this end, this paper proposes a theoretical model that centres on two drivers behind boundary resources design and use – resourcing and securing – and how these drivers interact in third-party development. We apply the model to a detailed case study of Apple’s iPhone platform. Our application of the model not only serves as an illustration of its plausibility but also generates insights about the conflicting goals of third-party development: the maintenance of platform control and the transfer of design capability to third-party developers. We generate four specialised constructs for understanding the actions taken by stakeholders in third-party development: self-resourcing, regulation-based securing, diversity resourcing and sovereignty securing. Our research extends and complements existing platform literature and contributes new knowledge about an alternative form of system development.

Objectified Knowledge through Social Media: The Case of a Multinational Technology and Consulting Corporation

Journal paper
Zaffar, F., and Ghazawneh, A
International Journal of ICT and Human Development, Volume 5, Issue 3

The developments of emergent technologies, new scientific initiatives and globalized market are giving rise to diversity of collaboration, referred to as mass collaboration. This phenomenon is mainly derived from communities and self-organization, and is based on Web 2.0 technologies, services and tools. Such collaboration and technologies are giving rise of emergent social software platforms (ESSP’s) that are adopted by firms worldwide. The main aim of this research is to understand how firms are using social media technologies and collaborative efforts to assist knowledge sharing to achieve objectified knowledge. Central to this research is the proposed knowledge sharing cycle model, which has three main stages – internalization, externalization, and objectification. This model is adapted based on the findings of a case study of internal social media strategy of IBM Corporation. The findings indicate that ESSP’s can be used to support knowledge sharing practices and to help convert knowledge into its different forms in enhancing knowledge acquisition.

The power of platforms for software development in open innovation networks

Journal paper
Ghazawneh, A.
International Journal of Networking and Virtual Organisations, Volume 9, Issue 2, Pages 140–154

Firms seeking to satisfy customer needs should not only rely on internal but also external sources of innovations for the development of their products and services. Consequently, they need to shift their centralised business approaches by adopting the paradigm of open innovation and the concept of platforms to harness the value of innovation networks. The aim of this paper is to examine the nature of platforms and how their adoption can stimulate external contributions of third-party developers. Based on the analysis which illustrated three platform adoption examples from Apple, Facebook and Twitter it is found that a platform approach and its four main elements (components, knowledge, processes and people) affect the entire innovation network and its two dimension of translations. It is also found that each of the three firms applied its own particular strategy while adopting the four main platform elements to suit its own innovation networks.

Towards a Process Framework for Managing Mass Collaboration Projects

Conference paper
Ghazawneh, A.
The 32nd Information Systems Research Seminar in Scandinavia, IRIS 32, Molde, Norway, August 9-12, 2009. ISBN 978-82-7962-120-1
The developments of new technologies, the new scientific initiatives and the new global market are giving rise to new phenomenon of collaboration, referred to as mass collaboration, which is mainly derived by communities and self-organizing, and is based on the new Internet and Web 2.0 technologies, services and tools. To date, this new phenomenon has been researched from strategic perspectives lacking to address the managerial practices to be applied for its adoption. This paper presents this new
phenomenon of collaboration and the concept of Web 2.0, and its technologies, services and tools. The paper then proposes a process framework to be used for managing projects and initiatives that specifically aim to adopt such collaboration form. The proposition of the framework is based on an illustration of a case study of a Danish municipality that applied mass collaboration on one of its development projects.

Research in Information Systems: Implications of the constant changing nature of IT in the social computing era

Conference paper
Ghazawneh, A., Mansour, O.
The 32nd Information Systems Research Seminar in Scandinavia, IRIS 32, Molde, Norway, August 9-12, 2009. ISBN 978-82-7962-120-1

The discussion of the core identity of IS research is dominated by a heated controversy between the narrow and the broad views. The paper reviews different perspectives of the core identity of IS and stand in with the broad view. We argued that the constant changes and developments of IT capabilities dynamically drive the core focus of IS research and thus a broader view should be adopted. The paper presents the recent changes and developments of IT in the social computing era where we have shown how recent developments have widened the scope of IS research by involving mutliple social aspects of investigation. We concluded the paper by proposing some properties of IS research in this era.

The Role of Platforms and Platform Thinking in Open Innovation Networks

Conference paper
Ghazawneh, A.
Proceedings of the 43rd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences

Firms that identify themselves as innovative have to constantly and continuously generate a stream of value-rich products and services, and improve them by time targeting growth markets and finding new ones for their core technologies. To achieve this, they start to open their innovation practices by adopting the open innovation paradigm, giving the opportunity to actors to engage in innovation networks. This paper discusses the supportive roles of platforms and platform thinking concepts in the practices that take place in innovation networks based on the dimensions of translations in such networks. The paper illustrates two practical examples of such roles, exemplifying how platform adopting can enhance and support the innovative practices.

Governing Third-Party Development through Platform Boundary Resources

Conference paper
Ghazawneh, A., Henfridsson, O.
Proceedings of International Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2010. St. Louis, USA

Third-party development is increasingly relevant for software platform owners seeking to generate complementary assets in the form of applications. The governance of such development involves two seemingly conflicting goals: the maintenance of platform control and the transfer of design capability to users. A key element in simultaneously accommodating these goals is platform boundary resources. However, so far, there is a dearth of theoretical accounts of the role of boundary resources and the process by which such resources can be used to govern third-party development. Drawing on case study research of Apple’s iPhone developer program, we synthesize boundary objects theory and innovation networks literature to develop a process perspective of third-party development governance through boundary resources. In doing this, our research extends and complements existing governance literature and contributes new knowledge about an alternative form of system development.

Third-Party Development for Multi-Contextual Services: On the Mechanisms of Control

Conference paper
Rudmark, D. and Ghazawneh, A.
European Conference on Information Systems, ECIS 2011. Helsinki, Finland.

The increasing adoption of nomadic devices and the associated use of information in numerous use situations pose new challenges for the ISD practice; handling the development of such multi-contextual services covering a broader vignette of users, devices and use situations than typically associated with ISD. Recently organizations have started tapping into development resources in large networks of third-party developers. Such development is enabled through the use of software platforms where developers through boundary resources, such as APIs, may access and extend functionality in new ways. Yet, studies on how organizations are able to control this type of development remains scarce. By synthesizing theory on control and boundary objects we aim at putting a new perspective and gain a greater understanding of how organizations attempt to control such development efforts. As an illustration, we draw upon a case study of a public transportation company which through deployment of a software platform is provided access to a large body of third-party developers. We use this case to study the measures taken to control development.

Micro-Strategizing in Platform Ecosystems: A Multiple Case Study

Conference paper
Ghazawneh, A., and Henfridsson, O.
Proceedings of International Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2011. Shanghai, China. Dec 2011.

The strategy by which a platform owner manages the future trajectory of its platform involves many unknowns. In particular, the ambition to simultaneously control the platform and distribute design capability to users is challenging. While there is an emerging literature on strategy in platform ecosystems, little empirical evidence exists about the series of strategic actions that platform owners conduct to create value in an ecosystem context. Drawing on a strategy-as-process perspective, this paper augments existing platform perspectives by seeking to understand the micro-strategizing of a platform owner. To this end, we report a multiple case study of Apple’s use of application programming interfaces for generating value from the iPhone platform. Our comparative analysis identifies and explores five different micro-strategies that can be enacted proactively or reactively: counteracting, monetizing, resourcing, securing, and sustaining. The paper concludes with a number of theoretical and practical implications of these micro-strategies and their interaction.

Knowledge Sharing and Collaboration Through Social Media: The Case of IBM

Conference paper
Zaffar, F. and Ghazawneh, A.
Proceedings of Mediterranean Conference on Information Systems, MCIS 2012. Guimarães, Portugal. Sep 2012

Intellectual capital is the single most important asset owned by any organization. Business continuity, innovation, and long-term sustainability of Small Medium Enterprises depend partly on accumulated organizational knowledge. Knowledge is hard to capture and manage due to its implicit nature. This paper seeks to investigate how Web 2.0 technologies are being used to overcome knowledge sharing and collaboration issues. The new web technologies, which are based on platforms, are referred to as emergent social software platforms (ESSP’s). The use of ESSP’s within a business enterprise to achieve business goals is known as enterprise 2.0 (E2.0). Central to this research is the proposed knowledge sharing cycle model, which has three main stages – internalization, externalization, and objectification. This model is adapted based on the findings of a case study of IBM Corporation. The findings indicate that ESSP’s can be used to support knowledge sharing practices and to help convert knowledge into its different forms.

Social Media and Organizing – An Empirical Analysis of the Role of Wiki Affordances in Organizing Practices

Conference paper
1. Mansour, O, Askenäs, L and Ghazawneh, A.
Proceedings of International Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2013. Milan, Italy. Dec 2013.

The evolution of social media has introduced novel possibilities for work and interaction in organizations. The wiki technology is one important kind of social media technologies that is increasingly used to facilitate the creation and sharing of organizational knowledge within communities. Given the increasing use of social media in organizations and the lack of knowledge on their consequences for organizing, we use an affordance lens to explore the enactment of organizational wiki affordances. Using qualitative data obtained through interviews, field visits, and documents from two multinational organizations –CCC and IBM– we first identified eight affordances that describe various wiki possibilities and practices. We then identified four properties of these affordances including multiplicity, referential, situatedness, and communal. These properties represent the main contribution of the paper in that they extend the notion of affordance by theorizing new concepts that describe relational dynamics, situated and contextual conditions, and social factors involved in enacting, perceiving, and exploiting affordances.