The Journal of the Southern Association for Information Systems

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The Journal of the Southern Association for Information Systems

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Traditionally software products have been classified as utilitarian or hedonic based on the value they provide to the users. In this cross-disciplinary study, we introduce another category of software products called social products i.e., those which provide symbolic value to its users. However, we also suggest these three types of software products are ideal types. In reality, most software products are likely hybrid. They provide differing magnitude of all three values: Utilitarian, Hedonic and Social. We use the different levels (high, medium, and low) of these three values to classify products as predominantly Utilitarian, predominantly Hedonic, predominantly Social and five types of Hybrids. This classification of products offers a fresh perspective into how users view different products in terms of the value they provide to them. The insights from the study can be used to assess software product positioning and to develop suitable product development strategies.