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Motivations for Open Source Project Participation and Decisions of Software Developers

Author

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  • Dongryul Lee

    ()

  • Byung Kim

    ()

Abstract

We provide a rationale for open source project participation by studying the decision problems of the software programmers, whose types are different in terms of ability and intrinsic motivation. We find that motivations, both intrinsic and extrinsic, and the ability level positively affect the optimal level of effort exerted by the programmers in the open source project. In the commercial project, the programmers with higher ability exert much effort although their high level of effort is not compensated properly. Thus, the open source project might be more likely to attract capable and motivated programmers than the commercial project. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media, LLC. 2013

Suggested Citation

  • Dongryul Lee & Byung Kim, 2013. "Motivations for Open Source Project Participation and Decisions of Software Developers," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 41(1), pages 31-57, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:compec:v:41:y:2013:i:1:p:31-57
    DOI: 10.1007/s10614-011-9311-x
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    References listed on IDEAS

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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. 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.
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    5. Josh Lerner & Jean Tirole, 2005. "The Economics of Technology Sharing: Open Source and Beyond," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 19(2), pages 99-120, Spring.
    6. Bitzer, Jurgen & Schrettl, Wolfram & Schroder, Philipp J.H., 2007. "Intrinsic motivation in open source software development," Journal of Comparative Economics, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 160-169, March.
    7. Justin Pappas Johnson, 2002. "Open Source Software: Private Provision of a Public Good," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 11(4), pages 637-662, December.
    8. Kevin Murdock, 2002. "Intrinsic Motivation and Optimal Incentive Contracts," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 33(4), pages 650-671, Winter.
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    12. Stefano Colombo & Luca Grilli & Cristina Rossi Lamastra, 2009. "On the determinants of the degree of openness of Open Source firms: An entry model," DISCE - Quaderni dell'Istituto di Economia e Finanza ief0088, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Dipartimenti e Istituti di Scienze Economiche (DISCE).
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    15. Jeffrey A. Roberts & Il-Horn Hann & Sandra A. Slaughter, 2006. "Understanding the Motivations, Participation, and Performance of Open Source Software Developers: A Longitudinal Study of the Apache Projects," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(7), pages 984-999, July.
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    Cited by:

    1. Stefano Colombo & Luca Grilli & Cristina Rossi-Lamastra, 2014. "Network Externalities, Incumbent’s Competitive Advantage and the Degree of Openness of Software Start-Ups," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 44(2), pages 175-200, August.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Open source software; Intrinsic motivation; Extrinsic motivation; L17; L86; O31;

    JEL classification:

    • L17 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Open Source Products and Markets
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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