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Book part
Publication date: 27 April 2004

Josh Lerner and Jean Tirole

There has been a recent surge of interest in open source software development, which involves developers at many different locations and organizations sharing code to…

Abstract

There has been a recent surge of interest in open source software development, which involves developers at many different locations and organizations sharing code to develop and refine programs. To an economist, the behavior of individual programmers and commercial companies engaged in open source projects is initially startling. This paper makes a preliminary exploration of the economics of open source software. We highlight the extent to which labor economics, especially the literature on career concerns’, can explain many of these projects’ features. Aspects of the future of open source development process, however, remain somewhat difficult to predict with off-the-shelf’ economic models.

Details

Intellectual Property and Entrepreneurship
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-265-8

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Article
Publication date: 16 November 2012

Manisha Singh and Gareema Sanaman

This paper aims to study the open source integrated library management systems, i.e. Koha and NewGenLib, to inform librarians about what considerations to make when…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to study the open source integrated library management systems, i.e. Koha and NewGenLib, to inform librarians about what considerations to make when choosing an open source integrated library management system (ILMS) for their library.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper provides a detailed comparative analysis of both types of software, i.e. Koha (3.2.4) and NewGenLib (3.0), which are undertaken in the study. The methodology used for the study is “Evaluation method” which is followed with the help of structured evaluation checklist prepared after the thorough study of reference tools, reference statistical data available and related literature. Both types of software are evaluated and compared qualitatively and quantitatively.

Findings

Both types of software are web‐enabled and support library automation. Koha has more specific characteristics of open source ILMS. Koha needs to upgrade, modify and improve its features. Koha requires very little hardware and is easy to install. Koha has advanced database features. NewGenLib has better functionality of modules than Koha. More formats and standards are supported by Koha. Digital library functionality of NewGenLib is more specific in terms of technology, data structure and programming. Also NewGenLib provides more user help and support whereas Koha provides more user‐friendly downloads and a documentation facility. NewGenLib has more enhanced features which are significant for ILMS while selecting software for automation.

Practical implications

The comparative analysis of the open source ILMS done in the study will help librarians in making necessary considerations while choosing an open source software for the library.

Originality/value

The paper presents a detailed evaluative study carried out using a comprehensive checklist designed for the study.

Details

The Electronic Library, vol. 30 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0264-0473

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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2007

Darius Hedgebeth

The purpose of this paper is to educate the knowledge worker on the benefits of using open source software, and to demonstrate how open source methodology promotes the

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to educate the knowledge worker on the benefits of using open source software, and to demonstrate how open source methodology promotes the collaborative and innovative attributes of knowledge management.

Design/methodology/approach

The author lists the open source initiative's definition for open source products, licensing information, the value of open source in a global economy, misconceived barriers to open source adoption, a functional comparison of open source and commercial software products, and web sites where open source products may be obtained.

Findings

Open source usage is prevalent throughout the world for governmental, business, educational, military, and space exploration purposes. Notwithstanding, some commercial enterprises such as the Microsoft Corporation have viewed the open source movement as a threat to profitability, citing alleged intellectual property infringement violations. However, other commercial entities such as IBM, Oracle, Novell, and Apple computer have embraced open source technology to conduct business operations as well as satisfy customer needs. Public appeal for open source products has been strong enough for Microsoft, through a recent public statement, to disclose that the firm wishes to “build a bridge” with the open source community, an apparent realization that open source is here to stay. The knowledge worker should understand that commercial and open source applications may coexist in the same IT environment.

Originality/value

A knowledge enterprise's total cost of ownership (TCO) can be significantly reduced through the use of open source software, resulting in an improvement to overall performance attributed to the collaborative and innovative nature of the open source model. Enterprises can benefit by taking a closer look at how open source technology helps to meet organizational goals and objectives in the most efficient and effective manner available.

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Article
Publication date: 9 March 2010

Stephen Mutula and Tumelo Kalaote

The purpose of this paper is to review use of open source software in the public sector in Botswana and South Africa. South Africa is Botswana's neighbor and both…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review use of open source software in the public sector in Botswana and South Africa. South Africa is Botswana's neighbor and both countries are leading economies in Africa.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on a survey that was carried out in information communication technology (ICT)‐intensive government ministries in Botswana in May 2008. The study sought to establish availability of policy framework, level of usage of open source software, government support, motivations for implementing open source software in government, availability of skills, attitude of it managers in government toward open source software and challenges of open source software deployment in the public sector. The population of the study consisted of information technology (IT) managers who were purposively selected from ICT‐intensive government ministries and interviewed. The study was extended to cover South Africa through review of literature on the same issues as those studied in Botswana.

Findings

Compared with other countries in developed and developing countries including South Africa, there is limited use of open source software in the public sector in Botswana. However, IT managers in government of Botswana demonstrate a positive attitude toward open source software, and seem to have adequate understanding of its potential benefits. Comparatively, South African government provides support for harnessing open source software; awareness among top government officials is high and attitude toward open source software seems positive; skills are generally available and hardly any challenges of using open source software were identified.

Research limitations/implications

This study was limited to purposively selected government ministries which are ICT‐intensive in Botswana, while for South Africa, the study was based on secondary sources of data and focused on deployment of open source software in government agencies.

Practical implications

Despite the increasing deployment of open source software in government across the world, the Botswanan government is yet unlikely to put in place an enabling open source software policy to harness the potential of the Software.

Originality/value

Open source software deployment in government across the world is gaining momentum purportedly to enhance universal access, reduce costs associated with commercial software bridge the digital divide, grow indigenous IT skills, etc. Botswana and South Africa are the economic frontline states in Africa, and their leadership role in this matter among counterparts on the African continent is pertinent.

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Library Hi Tech, vol. 28 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0737-8831

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Article
Publication date: 13 November 2009

Nizar Abdelkafi, Thorsten Blecker and Christina Raasch

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the transferability of the open source principles of product development from the realm of software to the realm of physical products.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the transferability of the open source principles of product development from the realm of software to the realm of physical products.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the inherent differences between software and physical products, a theoretical discussion of the challenges that face the implementation of open source principles in the physical world are provided. A multiple case study methodology is adopted to provide insights into the applicability of the open source concept in product development outside software.

Findings

Many of the challenges identified theoretically are actually encountered in practice. To cope with these challenges effectively, hardware design activities can be translated into software development tasks, using programmable hardware. When dealing with open source projects in the physical realm, it is useful to distinguish between projects driven by commercial firms and those driven by individuals, as each project type can impose different conditions on successful implementation.

Originality/value

Although much scholarly attention has been devoted to open source software, the issue of transferability of the identified principles to other industries has undergone little in‐depth research. This paper provides a solid foundation for further investigation of this topic based on theory and empirical case examples. It derives recommendations for industrial experts wishing to benefit from the open source model in new product development.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 47 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 2003

F S Grodzinsky, K Miller and M J Wolf

In this essay we argue that the current social and ethical structure in the Open Source Software (OSS) Community stem from its roots in academia. The individual developers…

Abstract

In this essay we argue that the current social and ethical structure in the Open Source Software (OSS) Community stem from its roots in academia. The individual developers experience a level of autonomy similar to that of a faculty member. Furthermore, we assert that the Open Source Software Community’s social structure demands benevolent leadership. We argue that it is difficult to pass off low quality open source software as high quality software and that the Open Source development model offers strong accountability. Finally, we argue that Open Source Software introduces ethical challenges for universities and the software development community.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 1 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

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Article
Publication date: 4 May 2012

Sven Ziemer and Gernot Stenz

The purpose of this paper is to promote the opportunities of open source software (OSS) development in aeronautics. Using the development of an open source framework for…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to promote the opportunities of open source software (OSS) development in aeronautics. Using the development of an open source framework for conceptual aircraft design as an example, this paper discusses how an inter‐organizational collaboration between industry and academia can build an environment for multi‐disciplinary aircraft design projects.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper takes the form of a literature study and comparison of software tools.

Findings

The open source model can facilitate the emergence of a large inter‐organizational community in aeronautics for developing a comprehensive software framework.

Practical implications

Developing a general OSS framework for conceptual aircraft design has the potential of attracting a large community for inter‐organizational collaboration on software tools for a multi‐disciplinary optimization (MDO) environment.

Originality/value

Using the concepts of open source in aeronautics has the potential to improve the collaboration among industry and academia on developing software tools for an MDO environment.

Details

Aircraft Engineering and Aerospace Technology, vol. 84 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0002-2667

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Book part
Publication date: 12 August 2009

Ann Westenholz

How are institutional logics transgressed in the organizational fields of open source software and of commercial proprietary software, respectively, by developing a new…

Abstract

How are institutional logics transgressed in the organizational fields of open source software and of commercial proprietary software, respectively, by developing a new practice of commercial open source software? I argue that by combining a Critique of Ideology Critique and a Critique of New Institutional Organizational Theory, we become better equipped for understanding institutional change in organizations applying concepts such as institutional entrepreneurs, discursive devices, and meaning arenas. The analysis show that many institutional entrepreneurs apply discursive devices to convince actors in the two organizational fields of the legitimacy of the new practice. This happens in many different meaning arenas such as in the market, in the public discourse, and in concrete open source projects. I advance the assumption that a relation established between institutional entrepreneurs of different legitimacy in the two original fields renders possible their institutional work.

Details

Institutions and Ideology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-867-0

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 2003

R A Spinello

According to its supporters open source software is more secure and reliable than proprietary code, and even tends to foster more innovation. Its technical superiority can…

Abstract

According to its supporters open source software is more secure and reliable than proprietary code, and even tends to foster more innovation. Its technical superiority can be linked to the ongoing peer review process which typifies the open source model. In addition, programs such as Linux offer a potential challenge to the hegemony of Microsoft. Open source holds out the possibility of restraining platform leaders such as Microsoft from acting opportunistically. Some even argue that the open source code model is ethically superior to the proprietary model because of its transparency. Given these economic and social benefits, should government policy makers intervene, by tilting the playing field to open source programs? Would such government intervention truly be welfare‐enhancing? Before answering that question we note that some of the presumed technical and economic benefits of open source software are open to question. At the same time, the claims of moral superiority or social desirability are inflated and discount incentives necessary for software development. But even if this software were technically and morally superior, there is still no basis for government intervention. Our position is simple: the invisible hand of the market and not the visible hand of government should decide the fate of open source code. There is no identifiable market failure for the government to fix nor is there any plausible policy justification for giving open source software preferential treatment.

Details

Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society, vol. 1 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-996X

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Article
Publication date: 9 May 2016

Malgorzata Ciesielska and Ann Westenholz

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the literature about the commercial involvement in open source software, levels of this involvement and consequences of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to contribute to the literature about the commercial involvement in open source software, levels of this involvement and consequences of attempting to mix various logics of action.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper uses the case study approach based on mixed methods: literature reviews and news searches, electronic surveys, qualitative interviews and observations. It combines discussions from several research projects as well as previous publications to present the scope of commercial choices within open source software and their consequences.

Findings

The findings show that higher levels of involvement in open source software communities poses important questions about the balance between economic, technological, and social logics as well as the benefits of being autonomous, having access to collaborative networks and minimizing risks related to free-riding. There are six levels of commercial involvement in open source communities, and each of them is characterized by a different dilemma.

Originality/value

The paper sheds light on the various level of involvement of business in open source movement and emphasize that the popularized “open innovation” concept is only the first step in real involvement and paradigm shift.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. 29 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

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