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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Mapping the Micro-Foundations of Informational Development: Linking Software Processes, Products and Industries to Global Trends

  • Author(s): Eischen, Kyle;
  • et al.

The production structures of information industries, the mechanisms that translate information into new products and power, remain opaque. Without defining these micro-foundational patterns, simple questions — what is information, how is it produced, is this production structure significantly unique — remain unanswered, limiting analysis of information-based development

generally, and evaluation of higher-level “information” theories specifically. Opening the “black box” of software outlines these production practices in one of the central industries of the coming decades, helping explain its social and economic impact and locating its evolution within broader global economic patterns.

Detailing the informational patterns in software opens a path to consider an ideal-typology of informational production. Such an ideal-type helps define terms and hypotheses that capture both unique differences and general patterns in an informational environment. Ignoring such patterns limits our understanding and analysis of the broader social transformations in the global environment. Failing to recognize these processes limits the space for social debate, policy and action around the establishment and evolution of new information technologies and industries.

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