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Floss firms, users and communities: a viable match?

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  • Nicolas Jullien
  • Jean-Benoît Zimmermann

Abstract

The participation of firms in Free/Libre/Open Source Software (FLOSS) communities is growing and is increasingly debated among scholars. As Ousterhout (1999) explained, ?FLOSS needs profit? and we do not know of any successful FLOSS products without firms in their ecosystem, either through the financial support of foundations (Eclipse, Linux) or the commercial supply of products or services (MySQL, Red Hat Linux). Various views of these phenomena have been proposed, but scholars have usually studied either the involvement of firms in a community or the integration of FLOSS into their market strategy, but not both. In this article, we argue for a more structured and global analysis, based on concepts of industrial economics, and thus starting from the basic conditions of the computer market and demand. This conceptual framework helps to distinguish the different roles firms may play in the FLOSS ecosystem and, more specifically, the different ways they are involved in development. JEL Codes: L11, L15, L22, L86

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by De Boeck Université in its journal Journal of Innovation Economics.

Volume (Year): n°7 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 31-53

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Handle: RePEc:cai:jiedbu:jie_007_0031

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Web page: http://www.cairn.info/revue-journal-of-innovation-economics.htm

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Keywords: free/libre or open source software; industrial economics; user skill; firms' roles;

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  1. Nicolas Jullien & Jean-Benoît Zimmermann, 2009. "Firms' contribution to open source software and the dominant user skill," Working Papers halshs-00449534, HAL.
  2. Jean-Benoît Zimmermann, 1995. "Le concept de grappes technologiques. Un cadre formel," Revue économique, Presses de Sciences-Po, vol. 0(5), pages 1263-1295.
  3. Henkel, Joachim, 2004. "The Jukebox Mode of Innovation - A Model of Commercial Open Source Development," CEPR Discussion Papers 4507, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Didier Demazière & François Horn & Nicolas Jullien, 2005. "Le travail des développeurs de logiciels libres. La mobilisation dans des "communautés distantes"," Post-Print hal-00282214, HAL.
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  7. Dahlander, Linus & Wallin, Martin W., 2006. "A man on the inside: Unlocking communities as complementary assets," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(8), pages 1243-1259, October.
  8. Jacques De Bandt, 1998. "Les marchés de services informationnels : quelles garanties pour le client, consommateur ou partenaire ?," Revue d'Économie Industrielle, Programme National Persée, vol. 86(1), pages 61-84.
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  10. Katz, Michael L & Shapiro, Carl, 1986. "Technology Adoption in the Presence of Network Externalities," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(4), pages 822-41, August.
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  12. Dahlander, Linus & Magnusson, Mats G., 2005. "Relationships between open source software companies and communities: Observations from Nordic firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 481-493, May.
  13. Zimmermann, J.-B., 1999. "Logiciel et propriete intellectuelle: du copyright au copyleft," G.R.E.Q.A.M. 99b07, Universite Aix-Marseille III.
  14. West, Joel, 2003. "How open is open enough?: Melding proprietary and open source platform strategies," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1259-1285, July.
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Cited by:
  1. Nicolas Jullien & Jean-Benoît Zimmermann, 2011. "FLOSS in an industrial economics perspective," Revue d'économie industrielle, De Boeck Université, vol. 0(4), pages 39-64.

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