Alone or Together? Inter-organizational affiliations of open source communities

Eckert, Remo; Stürmer, Matthias; Myrach, Thomas (2019). Alone or Together? Inter-organizational affiliations of open source communities. Journal of systems and software, 149, pp. 250-262. Elsevier 10.1016/j.jss.2018.12.007

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Many of today's open source software (OSS) communities operate beneath an umbrella organization, while others are organized entirely independently, and yet others follow a strategy somewhere in between, sharing certain resources and services. In our paper, we analyze four mature OSS communities (GENIVI, PolarSys, LibreOffice and PostgreSQL) representing different organizational forms. Our qualitative case studies illustrate that OSS communities preferring to control all of their resources are organized autonomously, while those focused mainly on software development are integrated into an umbrella organization. An interjacent strategy is pursued by OSS communities affiliated with an intermediary form of organization that takes care of legal and financial issues, without prescribing organizational structures or a specific license. The findings of our case studies show that there is no one-size-fits-all approach for OSS communities and each strategy has specific advantages and disadvantages. Arguing with the theoretical concepts of Resource Dependence Theory (RDT) and Transaction Cost Economics (TCE), we are able to relate the findings of our qualitative empirical study to theoretical concepts explaining different organizational behavior. Therefore, this study contributes new insights concerning the inter-organizational affiliations of OSS communities thus responding to the question why different forms of OSS community governance exist.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Department of Business Management > Institute of Information Systems > Information Management
03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Department of Business Management > Institute of Information Systems

UniBE Contributor:

Eckert, Remo; Stürmer, Matthias and Myrach, Thomas

Subjects:

000 Computer science, knowledge & systems
600 Technology > 650 Management & public relations
300 Social sciences, sociology & anthropology > 330 Economics

ISSN:

0164-1212

Publisher:

Elsevier

Language:

English

Submitter:

Patrick Cédric Munz

Date Deposited:

05 Sep 2019 09:04

Last Modified:

01 Nov 2019 14:45

Publisher DOI:

10.1016/j.jss.2018.12.007

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.132793

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/132793

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