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Article

Yiqing Yu

Interorganizational reciprocity plays a key role in relationships among software firms and open source communities. This study seeks to illuminate how a firm's open source

Abstract

Purpose

Interorganizational reciprocity plays a key role in relationships among software firms and open source communities. This study seeks to illuminate how a firm's open source strategy, characterized by its participation in the open source community, contributes to its financial performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the norm of reciprocity and social capital theory, the study proposes a model comprising the behavioral antecedents and business results of a firm's symbiotic relationship with the open source community. Data were collected through a survey. Partial least squares-based structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) was used to assess the results.

Findings

A firm's participative behaviors can have three dimensions: technology giving, technology taking and social participation. Technology taking directly impacts financial performance, whereas the effects of technology giving and social participation on financial performance are fully mediated by the firm's symbiotic relationship with the open source community.

Practical implications

Managers can understand how a specific behavior ultimately contributes to a symbiotic relationship or a firm's financial performance and how to flexibly align participation strategies with the business orientation.

Originality/value

The study adds to the open source literature by refining and enriching the conceptual domain of a firm's participative behaviors in open source communities. It also reveals how contrasting behavioral strategies impact a firm's financial performance.

Details

Baltic Journal of Management, vol. 15 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5265

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Article

Khaireddine Mouakhar and Albéric Tellier

Open Source software companies (OSSCs) are confronted with institutional pressures from Open Source software (OSS) communities. They must find an acceptable balance…

Abstract

Purpose

Open Source software companies (OSSCs) are confronted with institutional pressures from Open Source software (OSS) communities. They must find an acceptable balance between the expectations of these communities and their own business model. However, there are still few studies that try to analyse the OSSC business models. The purpose of this paper is to highlight OSSC typical business models by using rich empirical data.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology is based on a combination of quantitative analysis of a sample of 66 OSSCs and qualitative analysis of three typical situations resulting from that sample.

Findings

The quantitative study enables the authors to highlight three typical business models. The in-depth study of three typical cases enables the authors to specify these OSSC business models. The authors can distinguish four key dimensions: the relationship developed with the OSS communities, the strategic manoeuvres made, the key resources and competitive positioning.

Research limitations/implications

The results indicate that it is possible for firms to accommodate both profit and non-profit logics using different strategic manoeuvres to position themselves with regard to the Open Source institutional environment. Such accommodation requires the development of key resources and the adoption of suitable competitive positioning.

Practical implications

This study allows the authors to highlight two main practical contributions for OSSCs’ directors. First, the different manoeuvres identified may help them to ensure coherence between their strategic choices and the business model chosen. Second, the results can help OSSC founders identify value creation mechanisms more clearly by analysing four key variables.

Originality/value

This paper provides new insight about OSSCs business models. It aggregates four dimensions that provide a more “fine-grained” analysis of business models, while other studies often emphasise one dimension (usually the regime of appropriability).

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. 30 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

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Book part

Katherine K. Chen and Siobhán O’Mahony

Although extant theory has illuminated conditions under which organizations mimic each other in form and practice, little research examines how organizations seek to…

Abstract

Although extant theory has illuminated conditions under which organizations mimic each other in form and practice, little research examines how organizations seek to differentiate themselves from conventional forms. Our comparative ethnographic studies examine how the Burning Man and Open Source communities developed organizations to help coordinate the production of an annual temporary arts event and nonproprietary, freely distributed software. Both communities sought to differentiate their organizations from reference groups, but this was not a sufficient condition for sustaining organizational novelty. We found that the ability to pursue a differentiated strategy was moderated by environmental conditions. By exploring the organizing decisions that each community made at two critical boundaries: one defining individuals’ relationship with the organization; the second defining the organization's relationship with the market, we show how organizing practices were recombined from the for-profit and nonprofit sectors in unexpected, novel ways. This comparative research contributes a grounded theoretical explanation of organizational innovation that adjudicates between differentiation and environmental conditions.

Details

Studying Differences between Organizations: Comparative Approaches to Organizational Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84855-647-8

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Book part

Joel West

Theories of platform strategy and adoption have been largely derived from studies of their application in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector. These…

Abstract

Theories of platform strategy and adoption have been largely derived from studies of their application in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector. These platforms vary in openness, with the model of open source software providing the best-known exemplar for open platforms.

This exploratory field study examines the degree to which nine attributes of ICT platforms are applicable to open platforms in biotechnology. Using a combination of interview and secondary data, it identifies three patterns of such biotechnology platforms – IP commons, hackerspaces, and crowdsourced patient registries – and the degree to which these nine attributes apply. It shows the impact of ICT platforms and open source software on open source approaches to biotechnology, and how the latter are affected by the technical, legal, and institutional differences between information technology and biotechnology.

Instead of open source software platforms organized around modular interfaces, complements, ecosystems, and two-sided markets, this study instead suggests a model of open source knowledge platforms which benefits from economies of scale but not indirect network effects. From this, it discusses the generalizability of the ICT-derived models of open source platforms and offers suggestions for future research.

Details

Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Platforms
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-080-8

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Article

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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Article

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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Book part

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

Tristan Müller

This paper seeks to present the results of an analysis of 20 free and open source ILS platforms offered to the library community. These software platforms were subjected…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to present the results of an analysis of 20 free and open source ILS platforms offered to the library community. These software platforms were subjected to a three‐step analysis, whereby the results aim to assist librarians and decision makers in selecting an open source ILS, based on objective criteria.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology applied involves three broad steps. The first step consists of evaluating all the available ILSs and keeping only those that qualify as truly open source or freely‐licensed software. During this step, the correlation between the practices within the community and the terms associated with the free or open software license was measured. The second step involves evaluating the community behind each open source or free ILS project, according to a set of 40 criteria in order to determine the attractiveness and sustainability of each project. The third step entails subjecting the remaining ILSs to an analysis of almost 800 functions and features to determine which ILSs are most suited to the needs of libraries. The final score is used to identify strengths, weaknesses and differentiating or similar features of each ILS.

Findings

More than 20 open source ILSs were submitted to this methodology, but only three passed all the steps: Evergreen, Koha, and PMB. The main goal is not to identify the best open source ILS, but rather to highlight from which, of the batch of dozens of open source ILSs, librarians and decision makers can choose without worrying about how perennial or sustainable each open or free project is, as well as understanding which ILS provides them with the functionalities to meet the needs of their institutions.

Practical implications

This paper offers a basic model so that librarians and decision makers can make their own analysis and adapt it to the needs of their libraries.

Originality/value

This methodology meets the best practices in technology selection, with a multiple criteria decision analysis. It can also be easily adapted to the needs of all libraries.

Details

OCLC Systems & Services: International digital library perspectives, vol. 27 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1065-075X

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Book part

John Robinson

This is a case study on the opportunities provided by Open Source library systems and the experience of delivering these systems through a shared service.

Abstract

Purpose

This is a case study on the opportunities provided by Open Source library systems and the experience of delivering these systems through a shared service.

Methodology/approach

This chapter derives from desk research, interviews, and direct involvement in the project. The format is a case study, setting out a detailed timeline of events with information that can be applied in other settings.

Findings

This chapter presents reflections on the value and limitations of collaboration amongst libraries and librarians on an innovative approach to library systems and technologies. It also presents reflections on lessons learned from the processes and detailed discussion of the success factors for shared services and the reasons why such initiatives may not result in the outcomes predicted at the start.

Practical implications

Libraries and IT services considering Open Source and shared service approaches to provision will find material in this study useful when planning their projects.

Social implications

The nature of collaboration and collaborative working is studied and observations made about the way that outcomes cannot always be predicted or controlled. In a genuine collaboration, the outcome is determined by the interactions between the partners and is unique to the specifics of that collaboration.

Originality/value

The case study derives from interviews, written material and direct observation not generally in the public domain, providing a strong insider’s view of the activity.

Details

Innovation in Libraries and Information Services
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-730-1

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Article

John P. Ulhøi

This paper addresses innovations based on open source or non‐proprietary knowledge. Viewed through the lens of private property theory, such agency appears to be a true

Abstract

This paper addresses innovations based on open source or non‐proprietary knowledge. Viewed through the lens of private property theory, such agency appears to be a true anomaly. However, by a further turn of the theoretical kaleidoscope, we will show that there may be perfectly justifiable reasons for not regarding open source innovations as anomalies. The paper is based on three sectorial and generic cases of open source innovation, which is an offspring of contemporary theory made possible by combining elements of the model of private agency with those of the model of collective agency. In closing, the paper addresses implications for further research, practitioners and other policy‐makers.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 42 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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