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


  • 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)


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.

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  • 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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    References listed on IDEAS

    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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    3. F. Rullani & L. Zirulia, 2011. "A supply side story for a threshold model: Endogenous growth of the free and open source community," Working Papers wp781, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
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    16. Li, Yung-Ming & Lee, Yi-Lin, 2010. "Pricing peer-produced services: Quality, capacity, and competition issues," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 207(3), pages 1658-1668, December.
    17. Krishnamurthy, Sandeep & Ou, Shaosong & Tripathi, Arvind K., 2014. "Acceptance of monetary rewards in open source software development," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 632-644.
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    22. Trainor, Kevin J. & Andzulis, James (Mick) & Rapp, Adam & Agnihotri, Raj, 2014. "Social media technology usage and customer relationship performance: A capabilities-based examination of social CRM," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(6), pages 1201-1208.
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    25. Bullinger, Angelika C. & Rass, Matthias & Adamczyk, Sabrina & Moeslein, Kathrin M. & Sohn, Stefan, 2012. "Open innovation in health care: Analysis of an open health platform," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 105(2), pages 165-175.


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