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The Promise of Research on Open Source Software

  • Georg von Krogh

    ()

    (Department of Management, Technology, and Economics, ETH Zurich, Kreuzplatz 5, 8000 Zürich, Switzerland)

  • Eric von Hippel

    ()

    (Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 50 Memorial Drive, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02139)

Registered author(s):

    Breaking with many established assumptions about how innovation ought to work, open source software projects offer eye-opening examples of novel innovation practices for students and practitioners in many fields. In this article we briefly review existing research on the open source phenomenon and discuss the utility of open source software research findings for many other fields. We categorize the research into three areas: motivations of open source software contributors; governance, organization, and the process of innovation in open source software projects; and competitive dynamics enforced by open source software. We introduce the articles in this special issue of Management Science on open source software, and show how each contributes insights to one or more of these areas.

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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1060.0560
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    Article provided by INFORMS in its journal Management Science.

    Volume (Year): 52 (2006)
    Issue (Month): 7 (July)
    Pages: 975-983

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    Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:52:y:2006:i:7:p:975-983
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    1. Josh Lerner, 2005. "The Scope of Open Source Licensing," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 21(1), pages 20-56, April.
    2. 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.
    3. Dahlander, Linus & Magnusson, Mats G., 2005. "Relationships between open source software companies and communities: Observations from Nordic firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 481-493, May.
    4. Bonaccorsi, Andrea & Rossi, Cristina, 2003. "Why Open Source software can succeed," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1243-1258, July.
    5. 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.
    6. Harhoff, Dietmar & Henkel, Joachim & von Hippel, Eric, 2003. "Profiting from voluntary information spillovers: how users benefit by freely revealing their innovations," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(10), pages 1753-1769, December.
    7. Zeitlyn, David, 2003. "Gift economies in the development of open source software: anthropological reflections," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1287-1291, July.
    8. West, Joel, 2003. "How open is open enough?: Melding proprietary and open source platform strategies," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(7), pages 1259-1285, July.
    9. 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.
    10. Eric von Hippel, 1998. "Economics of Product Development by Users: The Impact of "Sticky" Local Information," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(5), pages 629-644, May.
    11. William C. Merrill & Norman Schneider, 1966. "Government Firms in Oligopoly Industries: A Short-Run Analysis," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 80(3), pages 400-412.
    12. Mustonen, Mikko, 2003. "Copyleft--the economics of Linux and other open source software," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 99-121, March.
    13. 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.
    14. Egon Franck & Carola Jungwirth, 2002. "Reconciling investors and donators - The governance structure of open source," Working Papers 0008, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
    15. Mikko Mustonen, 2005. "When Does a Firm Support Substitute Open Source Programming?," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 14(1), pages 121-139, 03.
    16. Dam, Kenneth W, 1995. "Some Economic Considerations in the Intellectual Property Protection of Software," The Journal of Legal Studies, University of Chicago Press, vol. 24(2), pages 321-77, June.
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