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Impacts of Platform APIs On Third-Party Software Innovation: Studies on New Application Development and Application Imitation

时间:2018-07-07

Management Science and Information Systems' Seminar2018-03

Topic:Impacts of Platform APIs On Third-Party Software Innovation: Studies on New Application Development and Application Imitation

Speaker:Ling Xue, J Mack Robinson College of Business

Time:Wednesday, June 20th, 10:00--11:30

Place:Room K02, Guanghua Building 2

Abstract:

The extant literature lacks nuanced theoretical explanations and empirical evidence on whether and how APIs released by a software platform influence third-party app development. We conduct two studies using data from a major web browser platform. In the first study, we examine how the adoption of platform APIs influences different app development and improvement choices of the third-party developers (updating existing apps, new app development in their existing app categories, and new app development in new app categories). We also take into account APIs at different abstraction levels and the competitive environment faced by third-party developers. Using a competing risk analysis, our results show that the adoption of platform APIs makes developers more likely to develop new apps rather than continue their app updates. High-level platform APIs generate a weaker effect than low-level platform APIs in driving new app development. In the second study, we further focus on the innovation and imitation behavior in new app development. We employ content analysis on app source code to identify original apps and copycat apps, and use a difference-in-difference approach to examine how the release of platform APIs generates differential influences on the development of original apps and copycat apps. Our finding suggests that the provision of platform APIs actually fosters app innovation and undermines app imitation, and the positive influence of APIs on app innovation is strengthened in app markets with greater demand potential and higher levels of app complexity.

Introduction:

Dr. Ling Xue is an assistant professor of information systems at J Mack Robinson College of Business, Georgia State University. He received his Ph.D. in management science and information systems from the McCombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin. His first stream of research focuses on the strategic aspects of IT, including strategic business value of IT and the impact of various corporate governance issues on IT strategic decisions. His second stream of research examines information economics in various inter-organizational and supply chain contexts. His third stream of research examines network effects in software platform and electronic commerce. His papers have been published in Information Systems Research, MIS Quarterly, Academy of Management Journal, Journal of Operations Management, Production and Operations Management, Journal of Management Information Systems, ACM Transactions on MIS, Journal of Information Systems, Decision Support Systems, Information & Management, International Journal of Electronic Commerce, Journal of Global Information Management, and proceedings of the International Conference on Information Systems.

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