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Transition of governance in a mature open software source community: Evidence from the Debian case

  • Sadowski, Bert M.
  • Sadowski-Rasters, Gaby
  • Duysters, Geert

As open source software (OSS) communities mature, they have to introduce a variety of governance mechanisms to manage the participation of their members and to coordinate the launch of new releases. The Debian community introduced new mechanisms of informal administrative control based on a constitution, elected leaders, and used interactive communication channels. We show that these control mechanisms were introduced as a response to emerging innovative opportunities due to the usage of source packages and to the need to build a responsive organization within the Debian OSS community.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Information Economics and Policy.

Volume (Year): 20 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 323-332

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Handle: RePEc:eee:iepoli:v:20:y:2008:i:4:p:323-332
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/inca/505549

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  1. von Krogh, Georg & Spaeth, Sebastian & Lakhani, Karim R., 2003. "Community, joining, and specialization in open source software innovation: a case study," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1217-1241, July.
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  3. Franke, Nikolaus & Hippel, Eric von, 2003. "Satisfying heterogeneous user needs via innovation toolkits: the case of Apache security software," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1199-1215, July.
  4. Hertel, Guido & Niedner, Sven & Herrmann, Stefanie, 2003. "Motivation of software developers in Open Source projects: an Internet-based survey of contributors to the Linux kernel," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1159-1177, July.
  5. Dalle, Jean-Michel & Jullien, Nicolas, 2003. "'Libre' software: turning fads into institutions?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 1-11, January.
  6. Alessandro Narduzzo & Alessandro Rossi, 2003. "Modularity in Action: GNU/Linux and Free/Open Source Software Development Model Unleashed," ROCK Working Papers 020, Department of Computer and Management Sciences, University of Trento, Italy, revised 13 Jun 2008.
  7. Giampaolo Garzarelli & Roberto Galoppini, 2003. "Capability Coordination in Modular Organization: Voluntary FS/OSS Production and the Case of Debian GNU/Linux," Industrial Organization 0312005, EconWPA.
  8. Johnson, Justin P., 2006. "Collaboration, peer review and open source software," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 477-497, November.
  9. William G. Ouchi, 1979. "A Conceptual Framework for the Design of Organizational Control Mechanisms," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 25(9), pages 833-848, September.
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