Ecosystems Here, There, and Everywhere

A Barometrical Analysis of the Roots of ‘Software Ecosystem’
  • Arho SuominenEmail author
  • Sami Hyrynsalmi
  • Marko Seppänen
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing book series (LNBIP, volume 240)


This study structures the ecosystem literature by using a bibliometrical approach in analysing theoretical roots of ecosystem studies. Several disciplines, such as innovation, management and software studies have established own streams in the ecosystem research. This paper reports the results of analysing 601 articles from the Thomson Reuters Web of Science database, and identifies ten separate research communities which have established their own thematic ecosystem disciplines. We show that five sub-communities have emerged inside the field of software ecosystems. The software ecosystem literature draws its theoretical background from (1) technical, (2) research methodology, (3) business, (4) management, and (5) strategy oriented disciplines. The results pave the way for future research by illustrating the existing and missing links and directions in the field of the software ecosystem.


Business ecosystem Software ecosystem Bibliometric 


  1. 1.
    Abrahamson, E.: Managerial fads and fashions: the diffusion and rejection of innovations. Acad. Manage. Rev. 16(3), 586–612 (1991)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Furnham, A.: Fads and fashions in management (2015)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Tansley, A.G.: The use and abuse of vegetational concepts and terms. Ecology 16(3), 284–307 (1935)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Moore, J.F.: Predators and prey: a new ecology of competition. Harvard Bus. Rev. 71(3), 75–86 (1993)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Weber, M.L., Hine, M.J.: Who inhabits a business ecosystem? the technospecies as a unifying concept. Technol. Innov. Manage. Rev. 5(5), 31–44 (2015)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Frosch, R.A., Gallopoulos, N.E.: Strategies for manufacturing. Sci. Am. 261(3), 144–152 (1989)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Dedehayir, O., Ortt, J.R., Seppänen, M.: Reconfiguring the innovation ecosystem: an explorative study of disruptive change. In: International ICE Conference on Engineering, Technology and Innovation (ICE), pp. 1–9. IEEE (2014)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Clarysse, B., Wright, M., Bruneel, J., Mahajan, A.: Creating value in ecosystems: crossing the chasm between knowledge and business ecosystems. Res. Policy 43(7), 1164–1176 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Basole, R.C.: Visualization of interfirm relations in a converging mobile ecosystem. J. Inf. Technol. 24(2), 144–159 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Manikas, K., Hansen, K.M.: Software ecosystems – a systematic literature review. J. Syst. Softw. 86(5), 1294–1306 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Håkansson, H., Ford, D., Gadde, L.E., Snehota, I., Waluszewski, A.: Business in Networks. Wiley, Chichester (2009)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Moore, J.F.: The Death of Competition: Leadership and Strategy in the Age of Business Ecosystems. Harper Business, New York (1996)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Iansiti, M., Levien, R.: Strategy as ecology. Harvard Bus. Rev. 82(3), 68–78 (2004)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Iansiti, M., Levien, R.: The Keystone Advantage: What the New Dynamics of Business Ecosystems Mean for Strategy, Innovation, and Sustainability. Harvard Business School Press, Boston (2004)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Bosch, J.: From software product lines to software ecosystems. In: Proceedings of the 13th International Software Product Line Conference, SPLC 2009, pp. 111–119. Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh (2009)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Jansen, S., Finkelstein, A., Brinkkemper, S.: A sense of community: A research agenda for software ecosystems. In: 31st International Conference on Software Engineering – Companion Volume, ICSE-Companion 2009, pp. 187–190. IEEE, May 2009Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Basole, R.C., Karla, J.: On the evolution of mobile platform ecosystem structure and strategy. Bus. Inf. Syst. Eng. 3, 313–322 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Hyrynsalmi, S., Suominen, A., Mäkilä, T., Knuutila, T.: The emerging mobile ecosystems: an introductory analysis of Android Market. In: Proceedings of the 21st International Conference on Management of Technology, IAMOT 2012, pp. 1–16. International Association for Management of Technology, Hsinchu, March 2012Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Adner, R.: Match your innovation strategy to your innovation ecosystem. Harvard Bus. Rev. 84(4), 98–107 (2006)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Rohrbeck, R., Hözle, K., Gemünden, H.G.: Opening up for competitive advantage – how Deutsche Telekom creates an open innovation ecosystem. R&D Manage. 39(4), 420–430 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Adner, R., Kapoor, R.: Innovation ecosystems and the pace of substitution: re-examining technology s-curves. Forthcoming, December 2011Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Briscoe, G., De Wilde, P.: Digital ecosystems: evolving service-orientated architectures. In: Proceedings of the 1st International Conference on Bio Inspired Models of Network, Information and Computing Systems, BIONETICS 2006, pp. 1–6. ACM, New York (2006)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Dini, P., Lombardo, G., Mansell, R., Razavi, A.R., Moschoyiannis, S., Krause, P., Nicolai, A., León, L.R.: Beyond interoperability to digital ecosystems: regional innovation and socio-economic development led by SMEs. Int. J. Technol. Learn. Innov. Dev. 1(3), 410–426 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Stanley, J., Briscoe, G.: The ABC of digital business ecosystems. Commun. Law – J. Comput. Media Telecommun. Law 15(1), 12–25 (2010)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Hyrynsalmi, S.:Letters from the war of ecosystems — an analysis of independentsoftware vendors in mobile application marketplaces. Doctoral dissertation, University of Turku, Turku, Finland, TUCS Dissertations No 188, December 2014Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Gueguen, G., Isckia, T.: The borders of mobile handset ecosystems: is coopetition inevitable? Telematics Inform. 28(1), 5–11 (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Larrucea, X., Nanclares, F., Santamaria, I.: A method for defining a regional software ecosystem strategy: colombia as a case study. Technol. Forecast. Soc. Change 104, 247–258 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Ben Hadj Salem Mhamdia, A.: Performance measurement practices in software ecosystem. Int. J. Prod. Perform. Manage. 62(5), 514–533 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    den Hartigh, E., Visscher, W., Tol, M., Salas, A.J.: Measuring the health of a business ecosystem. In: Jansen, S., Brinkkemper, S., Cusumano, M.A. (eds.) Software Ecosystems: Analyzing and Managing Business Networks in the Software Industry, pp. 221–246. Edward Elgar Publisher Inc., Northampton (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Hyrynsalmi, S., Suominen, A., Mäntymäki, M.: The influence of developer multi-homing on competition between software ecosystems. J. Syst. Softw. 111, 119–127 (2016)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Barbosa, O., dos Santos, R.P., Alves, C., Werner, C., Jansen, S.: A systematic mapping study on software ecosystems from a three-dimensional perspective. In: Jansen, S., Brinkkemper, S., Cusumano, M.A. (eds.) Software Ecosystems: Analyzing and Managing Business Networks in the Software Industry, pp. 59–81. Edward Elgar Publisher Inc., Northampton (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Hyrynsalmi, S., Seppänen, M., Nokkala, T., Suominen, A., Järvi, A.: Wealthy, healthy and/or happy — what does ‘ecosystem health’ stand for? In: Fernandes, J.M., Machado, R.J., Wnuk, K. (eds.) Software Business. LNBIP, vol. 210, pp. 272–287. Springer, Heidelberg (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Hanssen, G.K., Dybå, T.: Theoretical foundations of software ecosystems. In: Jansen, S., Bosch, J., Alves, C.F. (eds.) Proceedings of the International Workshop on Software Ecosystems, CEUR Workshop Proceedings, vol. 879, pp. 2–13. MIT Sloan School of Management, Cambridge, June 2012. CEUR-WS
  34. 34.
    Archambault, É., Campbell, D., Gingras, Y., Larivière, V.: Comparing bibliometric statistics obtained from the web of science and scopus. J. Am. Soc. Inf. Sci. Technol. 60(7), 1320–1326 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Zeleny, M., Cornet, R., Stoner, J.: Applying the new set of lenses - implications for managers of managing in the business ecosystem. In: Hennessy, J.E., Robins, S. (eds.) Managing toward the millennium. Fordham Univ Press (1991)Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Teece, D.J.: Explicating dynamic capabilities: the nature and microfoundations of (sustainable) enterprise performance. Strateg. Manage. J. 28(13), 1319–1350 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Kessler, M.: An experimental study of bibliographic coupling between technical papers (corresp.). IEEE Trans. Inf. Theory 9(1), 49–51 (1963)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Peters, H.P., Braam, R.R., van Raan, A.F.: Cognitive resemblance and citation relations in chemical engineering publications. J. Am. Soc. Inf. Sci. 46(1), 9 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Small, H.: Co-citation in the scientific literature: a new measure of the relationship between two documents. J. Am. Soc. Inf. Sci. 24(4), 265–269 (1973)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Garfield, E.: From bibliographic coupling to co-citationanalysis via algorithmic historio-bibliography: a citationist’s tribute to belverc. griffith. Drexel University, Philadelphia, PA (2001)Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    van Eck, N., Waltman, L.: Software survey: vosviewer, a computer program for bibliometric mapping. Scientometrics 84(2), 523–538 (2009)Google Scholar
  42. 42.
    Blondel, V.D., Guillaume, J.L., Lambiotte, R., Lefebvre, E.: Fast unfolding of communities in large networks. J. Stat. Mech. Theory Exp. 2008(10), P10008 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Kleinberg, J.M.: Authoritative sources in a hyperlinked environment. J. ACM (JACM) 46(5), 604–632 (1999)CrossRefzbMATHMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Gawer, A., Cusumano, M.A.: Industry platforms and ecosystem innovation. J. Prod. Innov. Manage. 31(3), 417–433 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Brusoni, S., Prencipe, A.: The organization of innovation in ecosystems: problem framing, problem solving, and patterns of coupling. Adv. Strat. Manage. 30(2013), 167–194 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Adner, R., Kapoor, R.: Value creation in innovation ecosystems: How the structure of technological interdependence affects firm performance in new technology generations. Strat. Manage. J. 31(3), 306–333 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Nikayin, F., De Reuver, M., Itälä, T.: Collective action for a common service platform for independent living services. Int. J. Med. Inform. 82(10), 922–939 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Shang, T., Shi, Y.: The dynamics of business ecosystems in the context of industrial emergence. In: GMC 2013: Proceedings of the Ninth International Symposium on Global Manufacturing and China, pp. 168–172 (2013)Google Scholar
  49. 49.
    Gueguen, G., Isckia, T.: The borders of mobile handset ecosystems: is coopetition inevitable? In: Hesselman, C., Giannelli, C. (eds.) Mobile Wireless Middleware, Operating Systems, and Applications-Workshops, vol. 12, pp. 45–54. Springer, Heidelberg (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Crooymans, W., Pradhan, P., Jansen, S.: Exploring network modelling and strategy in the dutch software business ecosystem. In: Fernandes, J.M., Machado, R.J., Wnuk, K. (eds.) Software Business. LNBIP, vol. 210, pp. 45–59. Springer, Heidelberg (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Liu, G., Rong, K.: The nature of the co-evolutionary process complex product development in the mobile computing industrys business ecosystem. Group Organ. Manage. 40(6), 809–842 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Kang, C., Hong, Y.S., Kim, K.J., Park, K.T., et al.: Representation and analysis of business ecosystems co-specializing products and services. In: DS 68–4: Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 2011), Impacting Society through Engineering Design, vol. 4. Product and Systems Design, Lyngby/Copenhagen, 15–19 August 2011Google Scholar
  53. 53.
    Pierce, L.: Big losses in ecosystem niches: How core firm decisions drive complementary product shakeouts. Strat. Manage. J. 30(3), 323–347 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. 54.
    Tanev, S.: Toward a methodology for studying the application of open source innovation practices in non-software domains. In: Saratov Fall Meeting 2006: Optical Technologies in Biophysics and Medicine VIII, p. 65350T. International Society for Optics and Photonics (2007)Google Scholar
  55. 55.
    Fragidis, G., Tarabanis, K., Koumpis, A.: Conceptual and business models for customer-centric business ecosystems. In: Digital EcoSystems and Technologies Conference, DEST 2007. Inaugural IEEE-IES, pp. 94–99. IEEE (2007)Google Scholar
  56. 56.
    Fan, B.: Competitive strategy: a business eco-system perspective. In: ISMOT 2004: Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on Management of Innovation and Technology: Managing Total Innovation in the 21st Century, pp. 281–284 (2004)Google Scholar
  57. 57.
    Popp, K.M., Meyer, R.: Profit from Software Ecosystems: Business Models, Ecosystems and Partnerships in the Software Industry. Books on Demand GmbH, Norderstedt (2010)Google Scholar
  58. 58.
    Kabbedijk, J., Jansen, S.: Steering insight: an exploration of the ruby software ecosystem. In: Regnell, B., van de Weerd, I., De Troyer, O. (eds.) ICSOB 2011. LNBIP, vol. 80, pp. 44–55. Springer, Heidelberg (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    Arndt, J.M., Dibbern, J.: Co-innovation in a service oriented strategic network. In: IEEE International Conference on Services Computing, SCC2006, pp. 285–288. IEEE (2006)Google Scholar
  60. 60.
    Zhang, J., Huo, Y., Liang, X.J.: Business ecosystem strategies of mobile network operators in the 3G era: the case of china mobile. China Commun. 5(3), 114–118 (2008)Google Scholar
  61. 61.
    Scarlat, E.: From virtual enterprises to digital business ecosystems: a survey on the modeling and simulation methods. Econ. Comput. Econ. Cybern. Stud. Res. 41(1–2), 17–29 (2007)Google Scholar
  62. 62.
    Scacchi, W., Alspaugh, T.A.: Understanding the role of licenses and evolution in open architecture software ecosystems. J. Syst. Softw. 85(7), 1479–1494 (2012). Software Ecosystems special issueCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. 63.
    Runeson, P., Host, M., Rainer, A., Regnell, B.: Case Study Research in Software Engineering: Guidelines and Examples. Wiley, Hoboken (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. 64.
    Messerschmitt, D.G., Szyperski, C.: Software Ecosystem: Understanding an Indispensable Technology and Industry. The MIT Press, Cambridge (2003)Google Scholar
  65. 65.
    Gawer, A., Henderson, R.: Platform owner entry and innovation in complementary markets: evidence from intel. J. Econ. Manage. Strat. 16(1), 1–34 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. 66.
    Zhu, F., Iansiti, M.: Entry into platform-based markets. Strat. Manage. J. 33(1), 88–106 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. 67.
    Boucharas, V., Jansen, S., Brinkkemper, S.: Formalizing software ecosystem modeling. In: Proceedings of the 1st International Workshop on Open ComponentEcosystems, IWOCE 2009, pp. 41–50. ACM, New York (2009)Google Scholar
  68. 68.
    Anvaari, M., Jansen, S.: Evaluating architectural openness in mobile software platforms. In: Proceedings of the Fourth European Conference on Software Architecture: Companion Volume, ECSA 2010, pp. 85–92. ACM, New York (2010)Google Scholar
  69. 69.
    Viljainen, M., Kauppinen, M.: Software ecosystems: a set of management practices for platform integrators in the telecom industry. In: Regnell, B., van de Weerd, I., De Troyer, O. (eds.) ICSOB 2011. LNBIP, vol. 80, pp. 32–43. Springer, Heidelberg (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Arho Suominen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Sami Hyrynsalmi
    • 2
  • Marko Seppänen
    • 3
  1. 1.VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Innovations, Economy, and PolicyEspooFinland
  2. 2.Department of Information TechnologyUniversity of TurkuTurkuFinland
  3. 3.Department of PoriTampere University of TechnologyTampereFinland

Personalised recommendations