A model of sustainable ecosystem for software development: Software business and music education

Cheng LEE

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Abstract

This interdisciplinary study addresses the issue of creating a sustainable ecosystem consisting of the ecologies of software development, software business and music education. These are three key areas contributing to the end users’ applications of music software in schools. Although these areas have been developing for several decades, no existing study has been found that examines how their individual contributions combine to achieve a greater effect. An ecological approach that examines the relationships and interactions within and between each of the ecologies has also not been found. This study examines the ecological effect of software development, software business and music education, the key components and dynamics of the three ecologies and how they connect and interact with one another. The main aim of this study was to develop a model of sustainable ecosystem consisting of the ecologies of software development, software business and music education. The overarching research question of this study was: How can the ecologies of software development, software business and music education work together to create a mutually beneficial and sustainable ecosystem? The research design comprised three phases using a qualitative-dominated approach. Phase I involved a review of the literature in order to map the three ecologies of software development, software business and music education. This informed the study’s conceptual framework and the research approach, and identified the components of the ecologies and their relationships and interactions. A preliminary model of each of the ecologies was constructed based on the literature review. The literature review also provided a basis for establishing the survey and interview questions for Phase II. Phase II consisted of four separate studies, three focusing on the three ecologies and one on domain experts of technology in music education. Semi-structured interviews and a questionnaire survey were implemented with software engineering lecturers, music software developers, music software retailers, music teachers and domain experts of music technology in education. Data analysis provided insights into the dynamics within and between the three ecologies and refined the preliminary models from Phase 1. Phase III involved the development of a sustainable ecosystem for software development, software business and music education, including the key threats to each ecology. The model provides a meta-view of the ecologies of software development, software business and music education. Recommendations for achieving a sustainable ecosystem consisting of the three ecologies were provided. Results showed that the music software development process, being the core activity of the ecosystem, requires the cooperation of music software developers, music software retailers and music teachers to share insider knowledge pertaining to their respective ecologies and contribute to interdisciplinary software development. Interdisciplinarity and knowledge transfer are the key conditions for the creation of a sustainable ecosystem. The investigation of the three different ecologies that were usually studied in isolation contributes to current knowledge involving interdisciplinary collaborations. The revealed gaps between the ecologies and threats to the ecosystem would enhance the sustainability of getting better-designed music software more effectively delivered by music software retailers for more widespread applications in school music education. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2013

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Education
Software business
Software development
Music
Ecosystem
Ecology
Software
Retailers
Developer
Threat
Literature review
Interaction
Sustainability
Conceptual framework
Questionnaire survey
Research design
Knowledge transfer
End users
Software development process
Insider

Keywords

  • Computer software development.
  • Music -- Computer-assisted instruction.
  • Theses and Dissertations
  • Thesis (Ph.D.)--The Hong Kong Institute of Education, 2013