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Open Source Software User Communities: A Study of Participation in Linux User Groups

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  • Richard P. Bagozzi

    () (Ross School of Business and College of Pharmacy, University of Michigan, 701 Tappan Street, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109-1234)

  • Utpal M. Dholakia

    () (Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Management, Rice University, 6100 Main Street--MS 531, Houston, Texas 77005)

Abstract

We conceptualize participation in Linux user groups (LUGs) in terms of group-referent intentional actions and investigate cognitive (attitudes, perceived behavioral control, identification with the open source movement), affective (positive and negative anticipated emotions), and social (social identity) determinants of participation and its consequences on Linux-related behaviors of users. This survey-based study, conducted with 402 active LUG members representing 191 different LUGs from 23 countries and employing structural equation modeling methodology, supports the proposed model. Furthermore, we find that the Linux user's experience level moderates the extent of the LUG's social influence and its impact on the user's participation. We conclude with a consideration of the managerial and research implications of the study's findings.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard P. Bagozzi & Utpal M. Dholakia, 2006. "Open Source Software User Communities: A Study of Participation in Linux User Groups," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(7), pages 1099-1115, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:52:y:2006:i:7:p:1099-1115
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1060.0545
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
    2. Bagozzi, Richard P, 2000. " On the Concept of Intentional Social Action in Consumer Behavior," Journal of Consumer Research, Oxford University Press, vol. 27(3), pages 388-396, December.
    3. Lakhani, Karim R. & von Hippel, Eric, 2003. "How open source software works: "free" user-to-user assistance," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 923-943, June.
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