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Yet another ecosystem literature review: 10 + 1 research communities

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review


Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2017 IEEE European Technology & Engineering Management Summit
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-5386-3721-0
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventEuropean Technology & Engineering Management Summit -
Duration: 1 Jan 1900 → …


ConferenceEuropean Technology & Engineering Management Summit
Period1/01/00 → …


The field of non-biological ecosystem studies is riddled with different kind of ecosystems, connections and relations of which are rarely discussed. For example, the field of software ecosystems is influenced by both natural and business ecosystems, as studies have identified a strong inspiration from both. In this study, we survey the ecosystem literature and identify how different types of ecosystems as much as their aspects appear in a wide literature scope. Using a bibliometric approach, our study reveals a literature body of 2,271 documents published from 1990 onward. Our analysis identifies 11 distinct research communities with one of them focusing on software ecosystems. Furthermore, it also reveals that, although the different communities are rather connected with each other, the software ecosystems community appears as an outlier, with little connections to other communities. When examining the software ecosystem community, consisted of 147 publications, we identify four distinct thematic clusters. We characterize these clusters by their theoretical background and uncover lack of a prevailing theoretical theme. Thus, this study calls for a formation of a research agenda for the software ecosystem field.

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