Innovation capabilities in software industry through the interfaces creation between users and producers: the case of the Mexican Firms
Hernandez, Jose Luis Sampedro
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The aim of this paper is to describe and analyze the interface construction process among software firms and other social actors and how, through the interface, the software firms create technological knowledge and innovation capabilities. The central research question I will try to answer is about: How do Mexican software firms build up interfaces with other social actors and why it is important in the knowledge generation process and in the creation of innovation capabilities? The cases to be studied of this research will be Mexican firms which develop and design ‘customized-software’. Some of them have created technological knowledge and accumulate technological capabilities through simple and stable interfaces, in which the information flow predominates on the knowledge flow. Others of them have created complex interfaces, in which predominate the knowledge flow and a high level of interaction among user and producer firms. In these terms, the user-producer interaction supports the firms to create new knowledge and increase the innovation capabilities. The Mexican firms have developed and designed proprietary software (PSW), however, there are firms that have migrated to the development and design of open-source software (OSW). The firms that develop and design OSW have at least three opportunities in a short term: a) to create new technological knowledge, b) to accelerate the innovation capabilities accumulation, and c) to open and to diversify the software market in a ‘transversal’ way. This paper is organized in 5 sections. After this introduction, section 2 presents the principal bodies of literature. Next section explains the research strategy has been followed in this paper. Section 4 describes the Mexican Information Technology Industry. Finally, section 5 presents important results and conclusions.