Community-Based Production of Open Source Software: What Do We Know About the Developers Who Participate?
AbstractThis paper seeks to close an empirical gap regarding the motivations, personal attributes and behavioral patterns among free/libre and open source (FLOSS) developers, especially those involved in community-based production, and its findings on the existing literature and the future directions for research. Respondents to an extensive web-survey’s (FLOSS-US 2003) questions about their reasons for work on FLOSS are classified according to their distinct “motivational profiles” by hierarchical cluster analysis. Over half of them also are matched to projects of known membership sizes, revealing that although some members from each of the clusters are present in the small, medium and large ranges of the distribution of project sizes, the mixing fractions for the large and the very small project ranges are statistically different. Among developers who changed projects, there is a discernable flow from the bottom toward the very small towards to large projects, some of which is motivated by individuals seeking to improve their programming skills. It is found that the profile of early motivation, along with other individual attributes, significantly affects individual developers’ selections of projects from different regions of the size range.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research in its series Discussion Papers with number 08-003.
Date of creation: Sep 2008
Date of revision:
Open source software; FLOSS project; community-based peer production; population heterogeneity; micro-motives; motivational profiles; web-cast surveys; hierarchical cluster analysis;
Other versions of this item:
- David, Paul A. & Shapiro, Joseph S., 2008. "Community-based production of open-source software: What do we know about the developers who participate?," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 364-398, December.
- J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply
- L17 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Open Source Products and Markets
- L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
- L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
- L39 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - Other
- P13 - Economic Systems - - Capitalist Systems - - - Cooperative Enterprises
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