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Human agency, social networks, and FOSS project success

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  • Wang, Jing
  • Hu, Michael Y.
  • Shanker, Murali
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    Abstract

    The development model of free open source software (FOSS) provides important managerial lessons for knowledge creation, innovation, and software and new product development. Yet many unanswered questions exist regarding why certain FOSS projects succeed while others fail. Drawing on social capital theory and human agency theory, this study proposes that FOSS projects stand a better chance of success if they possess desirable social network capital and adopt effective strategies. It further argues that valuable social network capital and effective strategies produce greater returns together than they do alone. The results of an empirical analysis reveal significant positive interactions between social capital variables and human agency/strategy variables, highlighting the importance of complementarity between social network ties and strategies in shaping the outcome of FOSS projects.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Business Research.

    Volume (Year): 65 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 7 ()
    Pages: 977-984

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    Handle: RePEc:eee:jbrese:v:65:y:2012:i:7:p:977-984

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    Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jbusres

    Related research

    Keywords: Free open source software; Project success; Social networks; Human agency;

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    1. Blake Ives & Margrethe H. Olson, 1984. "User Involvement and MIS Success: A Review of Research," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(5), pages 586-603, May.
    2. Ma, Xufei & Yao, Xiaotao & Xi, Youmin, 2009. "How do interorganizational and interpersonal networks affect a firm's strategic adaptive capability in a transition economy?," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 62(11), pages 1087-1095, November.
    3. George Kuk, 2006. "Strategic Interaction and Knowledge Sharing in the KDE Developer Mailing List," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(7), pages 1031-1042, July.
    4. Lee, Sang-Yong Tom & Kim, Hee-Woong & Gupta, Sumeet, 2009. "Measuring open source software success," Omega, Elsevier, vol. 37(2), pages 426-438, April.
    5. Alan MacCormack & John Rusnak & Carliss Y. Baldwin, 2006. "Exploring the Structure of Complex Software Designs: An Empirical Study of Open Source and Proprietary Code," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(7), pages 1015-1030, July.
    6. Merlo, Omar & Bell, Simon J. & Menguc, Bulent & Whitwell, Gregory J., 2006. "Social capital, customer service orientation and creativity in retail stores," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 59(12), pages 1214-1221, November.
    7. Rajdeep Grewal & Gary L. Lilien & Girish Mallapragada, 2006. "Location, Location, Location: How Network Embeddedness Affects Project Success in Open Source Systems," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(7), pages 1043-1056, July.
    8. Luo, Xueming & Hassan, Morsheda, 2009. "The role of top management networks for market knowledge creation and sharing in China," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 62(10), pages 1020-1026, October.
    9. Bonaccorsi, Andrea & Rossi, Cristina, 2003. "Why Open Source software can succeed," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1243-1258, July.
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