Article: Outsourcing Creative Work: a Study of Mobile Application Development

Here’s a recently-published study that I came across in my research for creative labour + mobility + economy that could also be added to the Bibliography:

Bergvall-Kåreborn, Birgitta; Howcroft, Debra; and Chincholle, Didier, “Outsourcing Creative Work: a Study of Mobile Application Development” (2010). ICIS 2010 Proceedings. Paper 23.


As the mobile phone industry converges with the IT/software industry, the emerging internetenabled multifunctional mobile devices are bringing together many diverse stakeholders. This paper examines the under-researched area of mobile application developers. We frame our study within the wider context of the mobile application industry in order to illustrate how the business models of large IT firms shape the everyday practices of systems developers, specifically those working on iPhone and Android platforms. By broadening out the study in this way we are able to situate seemingly new and distinctive technological artefacts and practices and show how they build on a number of continuing trends within the field. Drawing on qualitative data with developers working in this emerging market, we analyse their practices in order to (a) provide detail on this under-studied area and (b) show the ways in which developers adapt to the turbulent environment of the IT sector.

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