Understanding the creation and adoption of information technology innovations: the case of open source software development and the diffusion of mobile commerce




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This dissertation studies several aspects of creation and adoption of information technology (IT) innovation. In particular, my research focuses on two brand-new phenomena in IT innovation: Open Source software development model and mobile commerce. Open source is a radically new model to develop software. My dissertation explores the sustainability of open source software development model. In my research, I collect detailed empirical data of successful and less successful open source projects. I identify several important factors that may determine the success or failure of an open source project. These factors include the vital roles of core developers and the importance of publicizing a project, which have not been given adequate attention in existing literature. My work could provide a better understanding of the survival and viability of open source software development model. I also explore a more and more important business model in open source software development: enterprise open source. Unlike conventional open source development model, which depends on voluntary contributions from the developers in the community, enterprise open source is invested, developed and managed by for-profit firms. I use mathematical modeling combined with empirical case studies as the research method to study various profit models of enterprise open source. The conclusions I get are supported by the empirical data. One main implication of the research is: enterprise open source will become the main propelling force in developing open source software. It can also pose serious challenges to proprietary software development model. Having studied open source as a new way to generate IT innovation, I study how these innovations could be applied in various industries. I focus on how innovations in wireless technology can be applied in healthcare, marketing and financial services industries. I discussed in detail the available technologies and how these technologies can revolutionize the practices in the above industries. My work could be of particularly great value to business practitioners in the mobile commerce field.