The Impacts and Evolution of Boundary Resources in Platform-based Ecosystems – The Case of Mobile Application Platforms

Project: Research

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The exciting development in mobile devices and the success of mobile application platforms draw intensive research attentions (e.g., Ghose and Han 2014, Han Park and Oh 2015, Lee and Raghu 2014, Liu Au and Choi 2014, Qiu Gopal and Hann 2016, 2013). In a mobile application platform and more generally in platform-based ecosystems, boundary resources, the tools and regulations of platforms have critical impacts (Eaton et al. 2015). In the proposed project, we extend our understanding of the composition and effects of boundary resources in app platforms. To enable a data-centric discussion, we propose to build a system that tracks app platforms regarding the boundary resource provision and governance mechanisms. The system also collects data about application releases, updates, and sales.Using the observational data collected, we will first examine the impact of a particular boundary resource, the sponsored search, on developers’ platform choices and pricing decisions, leveraging on a quasi-experiment condition arising the sequential introductions of search advertising service to Android and iOS platforms. In the meantime, we will conduct a theoretical discussion and propose a framework and a measurement scale for boundary resource provision. The scale will be validated using interviews and surveys, which will be supplemented by text features extracted from the data collected by the system. The framework and the data collected will enable us to form a dynamic view of the evolution in boundary resource provision across app platforms. We will then explore opportunities to extend our empirical analysis regarding the impacts of boundary resources. The proposed research contributes to the literature on mobile application and platform-based ecosystem and has clear practice relevance.


Project number9042569
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/09/1725/09/17