Centre for Knowledge, Innovation, Technology and Enterprise

Project Items

The Biography and Evolution of Software Packages

This comparative study, led by Neil Pollock and Robin Williams from the University of Edinburgh, is concerned with the development, use and evolution of commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) software packages. Our hypothesis is that there is a growing gulf between the strategies of COTS suppliers who design increasingly generic information systems and the requirements of the private and public sector users of these systems who must ultimately reconcile them within their local setting. Through tracing the ‘biography’ of a number of software packages we shall investigate the dynamics between software suppliers and users and how tensions are managed and resolved. This will entail ethnographic research in both supplier and user settings and working across an interdisciplinary team.

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