Managing the boundary of an 'open' project
AbstractIn the past ten years, the boundaries between public and open science and commercial research efforts have become more porous. Scholars have thus more critically examined ways in which these two institutional regimes intersect. Large open source software projects have also attracted commercial collaborators and now struggle to develop code in an open public environment that still protects their communal boundaries. This research applies a dynamic social network approach to understand how one community-managed software project, Debian, developed a membership process. We examine the project's face-to-face social network over a five-year period (1997-2001) to see how changes in the social structure affected the evolution of membership mechanisms and the determination of gatekeepers. While the amount and importance of a contributor's work increased the probability that a contributor would become a gatekeeper, those more central in the social network were more likely to become gatekeepers and influence the membership process. A greater understanding of the mechanisms open projects use to manage their boundaries has critical implications for research and knowledge-producing communities operating in pluralistic, open and distributed environments.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by IESE Business School in its series IESE Research Papers with number D/537.
Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: 21 Jan 2004
Date of revision:
open source software; social networks; organizational design; institutional design;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2004-02-15 (All new papers)
- NEP-INO-2004-02-15 (Innovation)
- NEP-NET-2004-04-11 (Network Economics)
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- James Bessen & Robert M Hunt, 2004.
"An Empirical Look at Software Patents,"
Levine's Working Paper Archive
122247000000000167, David K. Levine.
- Jaffe, Adam B., 2000.
"The U.S. patent system in transition: policy innovation and the innovation process,"
Elsevier, vol. 29(4-5), pages 531-557, April.
- Adam B. Jaffe, 1999. "The U.S. Patent System in Transition: Policy Innovation and the Innovation Process," NBER Working Papers 7280, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Behrens, Teresa R. & Gray, Denis O., 2001. "Unintended consequences of cooperative research: impact of industry sponsorship on climate for academic freedom and other graduate student outcome," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 179-199, February.
- Suzanne Scotchmer, 1996. "Protecting Early Innovators: Should Second-Generation Products Be Patentable?," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 27(2), pages 322-331, Summer.
- Owen-Smith, Jason & Powell, Walter W., 2003. "The expanding role of university patenting in the life sciences: assessing the importance of experience and connectivity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(9), pages 1695-1711, October.
- Paul A. David, 2000.
"The Digital Technology Boomerang: New Intellectual Property Rights Threaten Global "Open Science","
00016, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
- Paul A. David, 2005. "The Digital Technology Boomerang: New Intellectual Property Rights Threaten Global “Open Science”," Development and Comp Systems 0502012, EconWPA.
- Paul A. David, 2005. "The Economic Logic of “Open Science” and the Balance between Private Property Rights and the Public Domain in Scientific Data and," Development and Comp Systems 0502006, EconWPA.
- Paul A. David & Dominique Foray, .
"Economic Fundamentals of the Knowledge Society,"
02003, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
- O'Mahony, Siobhan, 2003. "Guarding the commons: how community managed software projects protect their work," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1179-1198, July.
- Barabási, Albert-László & Albert, Réka & Jeong, Hawoong, 1999. "Mean-field theory for scale-free random networks," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 272(1), pages 173-187.
- Bruce Kogut & Anca Metiu, 2001. "Open-Source Software Development and Distributed Innovation," Oxford Review of Economic Policy, Oxford University Press, vol. 17(2), pages 248-264, Summer.
- Owen-Smith, Jason, 2003. "From separate systems to a hybrid order: accumulative advantage across public and private science at Research One universities," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1081-1104, June.
- Suzanne Scotchmer, 1991. "Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: Cumulative Research and the Patent Law," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 29-41, Winter.
- Jürgen Bitzer & Philipp J.H. Schröder, 2005. "The Impact of Entry and Competition by Open Source Software on Innovation Activity," Industrial Organization 0512001, EconWPA.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Silvia Jimenez).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.