Protection of Customers’ and Suppliers’ Knowledge in Software Development Projects with Fixed-Price Contract: Using Property Rights Theory

Gaebert C


Abstract
In software development projects (SDP), both the supplier and the customer must share their business knowledge for reaching the project success. However, this business knowledge is an essential intellectual property, and thus needs protection from misuse. In this paper, we present an analysis of knowledge difficult to protect. We enact a strategy to achieve SDPs success despite these barriers. Our theoretical and empirical analysis also found that SDP success is largely an uncertainty problem between the contractual parties on the management level, and thus technical-organizational approaches alone are inadequate for achieving success. Based on property rights theory, we introduce two models for protecting knowledge depending on uncertainties. Our findings offer managers important insights how they can design and enact especially fixed-price contracts. Moreover, we show how the economic theories can enhance understanding of SDP dynamics and advance the development of a theory of effective control of SDP success.

Keywords
Software development project; Information Knowledge; Intellectual property rights; Property rights theory



Publication type
Chapter in Book

Peer reviewed
Yes

Publication status
Published

Year
2016

Book title
Software Technologies 10th International Joint Conference, ICSOFT 2015, Colmar, France, July 20-22, 2015, Revised Selected Papers

Editor
Lorenz, P., Cardoso, J., Maciaszek, L.A., van Sinderen, M.

Pages range
210-227

Volume
586

Title of series
Communications in Computer and Information Science

Publisher
Springer

Language
English

ISBN
978-3-319-30142-6

DOI