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The Role of Participation Architecture in Growing Sponsored Open Source Communities

Author

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  • Joel West
  • Siobhan O'mahony

Abstract

Most research on open source software communities has focused on those that are community founded. More recently, firms have founded their own open source communities. How do sponsored open source communities differ from their autonomous counterparts? With comparative examination of 12 open source projects initiated by corporate sponsors, we identify three design parameters that together help form a participation architecture—the opportunity structure extended to potential external contributors. In exploring sponsors' community design decisions, we found that sponsored open source projects were more likely to offer transparency than they were accessibility and that this had implications for their communities' growth. We contribute theoretical constructs that offer a common basis of comparison for the future study of open source projects and illustrate how the tension between control and growth affects open source community design and creation.

Suggested Citation

  • Joel West & Siobhan O'mahony, 2008. "The Role of Participation Architecture in Growing Sponsored Open Source Communities," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(2), pages 145-168.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:indinn:v:15:y:2008:i:2:p:145-168
    DOI: 10.1080/13662710801970142
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Engelhardt, Sebastian v. & Freytag, Andreas, 2013. "Institutions, culture, and open source," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 90-110.
    2. Colombo, Massimo G. & Piva, Evila & Rossi-Lamastra, Cristina, 2014. "Open innovation and within-industry diversification in small and medium enterprises: The case of open source software firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(5), pages 891-902.
    3. Shane Greenstein, 2011. "Nurturing the Accumulation of Innovations: Lessons from the Internet," NBER Chapters,in: Accelerating Energy Innovation: Insights from Multiple Sectors, pages 189-223 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Dolata, Ulrich, 2017. "Apple, Amazon, Google, Facebook, Microsoft: Market concentration - competition - innovation strategies," Research Contributions to Organizational Sociology and Innovation Studies, SOI Discussion Papers 2017-01, University of Stuttgart, Institute for Social Sciences, Department of Organizational Sociology and Innovation Studies.
    5. repec:eee:respol:v:46:y:2017:i:8:p:1370-1386 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Henkel, Joachim & Schöberl, Simone & Alexy, Oliver, 2014. "The emergence of openness: How and why firms adopt selective revealing in open innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(5), pages 879-890.
    7. Wilson, Scott & Tanguturi, Praveen, 2012. "Meeting the growth challenge in the open mobile era," 23rd European Regional ITS Conference, Vienna 2012 60349, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
    8. Dolata, Ulrich, 2014. "Märkte und Macht der Internetkonzerne: Konzentration - Konkurrenz - Innovationsstrategien," Research Contributions to Organizational Sociology and Innovation Studies, SOI Discussion Papers 2014-04, University of Stuttgart, Institute for Social Sciences, Department of Organizational Sociology and Innovation Studies.
    9. Fershtman, Chaim & Gandal, Neil, 2011. "A Brief Survey of the Economics of Open Source Software," CEPR Discussion Papers 8434, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    10. Powell, J.P., 2010. "The limits of economic self-interest : The case of open source software," Other publications TiSEM fc6d2aa1-8b29-40be-b888-5, Tilburg University, School of Economics and Management.
    11. repec:eee:respol:v:46:y:2017:i:6:p:1062-1070 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. repec:spr:infosf:v:16:y:2014:i:4:d:10.1007_s10796-012-9376-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. West, Joel & Kuk, George, 2016. "The complementarity of openness: How MakerBot leveraged Thingiverse in 3D printing," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 102(C), pages 169-181.
    14. repec:wsi:ijimxx:v:21:y:2017:i:03:n:s1363919617500256 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Balka, Kerstin & Raasch, Christina & Herstatt, Cornelius, 2009. "How open is open source: Software and beyond," Working Papers 58, Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH), Institute for Technology and Innovation Management.
    16. Landini, Fabio, 2012. "Technology, property rights and organizational diversity in the software industry," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 137-150.
    17. Kenney, Martin & Pon, Bryan, 2011. "Structuring the Smartphone Industry. Is the Mobile Internet OS Platform the Key?," Discussion Papers 1238, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    18. Karim R. Lakhani & Hila Lifshitz-Assaf & Michael L. Tushman, 2013. "Open innovation and organizational boundaries: task decomposition, knowledge distribution and the locus of innovation," Chapters,in: Handbook of Economic Organization, chapter 19 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    19. Martin Kenney & Bryan Pon, 2011. "Structuring the Smartphone Industry: Is the Mobile Internet OS Platform the Key?," Journal of Industry, Competition and Trade, Springer, vol. 11(3), pages 239-261, September.

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