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The Use and Importance of External Sources of Knowledge in the Software Development Process


  • Segelod , Esbjörn

    () (Department of Business Administration, School of Economics and Commercial Law, Göteborg University)

  • Jordan, Gary

    () (Department of Business Administration, Uppsala University)


Partnerships and external knowledge acquisition have become important means for gaining access to the increasing number of technologies needed for the development of more advanced products especially in emerging and dynamic industries. A good example is the fast expanding computer software industry where linkages are many and important.This is an empirical study of linkages and their relative importance in different stages of the software development process. The amount of new knowledge generated though different sources and differences between different types of software, such as packaged and customised software, are analysed. The analysis draws on case studies of 92 mostly European software projects, and a pilot study of four projects. It shows the length, type, and relative importance of 718 linkages in the software development process. The data collected shows that there are important differences between tangible hardware and software projects when it comes to the importance of the various linkages and the knowledge acquired

Suggested Citation

  • Segelod , Esbjörn & Jordan, Gary, 2002. "The Use and Importance of External Sources of Knowledge in the Software Development Process," FE rapport 2002-391, University of Gothenburg, Department of Business Administration.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhb:gunwba:2002_391

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Veugelers, Reinhilde & Cassiman, Bruno, 1999. "Make and buy in innovation strategies: evidence from Belgian manufacturing firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 63-80, January.
    2. Segelod, Esbjörn, 2001. "Learning through grafting in ventures in new areas," Scandinavian Journal of Management, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 305-328, September.
    3. Håkansson, Håkan, 1990. "Technological collaboration in industrial networks," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 8(3), pages 371-379, September.
    4. Bonaccorsi, Andrea & Pammolli, Fabio & Tani, Simone, 1996. "The changing boundaries of system companies," International Business Review, Elsevier, vol. 5(6), pages 539-560, December.
    5. Teece, David J., 1980. "Economies of scope and the scope of the enterprise," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 1(3), pages 223-247, September.
    6. Tore Sandven, "undated". "Technology acquisition by SMEs in Norway," STEP Report series 199610, The STEP Group, Studies in technology, innovation and economic policy.
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    Cited by:

    1. Barletta, Florencia & Pereira, Mariano & Yoguel, Gabriel & Robert, Verónica, 2013. "Argentina: recent dynamics in the software and IT services industry," Revista CEPAL, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL), August.

    More about this item


    Computer software firms; external knowledge acquisition; industrial networks; product development; software development processes; software industry; software projects;

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