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An economic analysis of enterprise adoption of open source software

Author

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  • Evangelos Katsamakas

    () (Graduate School of Business, Fordham University)

  • Mingdi Xin

    () (Stern School of Business, New York University)

Abstract

The emergence of open source and Linux has burdened IT managers with the challenge of whether, when, and in what applications to adopt open source software in their firms. We characterize the conditions under which enterprises adopt open source software. We show that adoption depends crucially on network effects, the fit of software with the range of applications used by each firm, and the IT capabilities of a firm. Our model predicts that most firms will adopt a heterogeneous IT architecture that consists of open source and proprietary software. The equilibrium adoption is often socially inefficient. This is the first paper in the open source literature to model the enterprise adoption of open source.

Suggested Citation

  • Evangelos Katsamakas & Mingdi Xin, 2005. "An economic analysis of enterprise adoption of open source software," Working Papers 05-29, NET Institute, revised Oct 2005.
  • Handle: RePEc:net:wpaper:0529
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    File URL: http://www.netinst.org/Katsamakas_Xin.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nicholas Economides, 1997. "The Economics of Networks," Brazilian Electronic Journal of Economics, Department of Economics, Universidade Federal de Pernambuco, vol. 1(0), December.
    2. Casadesus-Masanell, Ramon & Ghemawat, Pankaj, 2003. "Dynamic mixed duopoly: A model motivated by Linux vs. Windows," IESE Research Papers D/519, IESE Business School.
    3. Lerner, Josh & Tirole, Jean, 2001. "The open source movement: Key research questions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 45(4-6), pages 819-826, May.
    4. 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.
    5. Stefano Comino & Fabio M. Manenti, 2003. "Open Source vs Closed Source Software: Public Policies in the Software Market," Industrial Organization 0306001, EconWPA.
    6. 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.
    7. 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.
    8. Jürgen Bitzer & Philipp J. H. Schröder, 2003. "Competition and Innovation in a Technology Setting Software Duopoly," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 363, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
    9. 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, March.
    10. Michael L. Katz & Carl Shapiro, 1994. "Systems Competition and Network Effects," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 8(2), pages 93-115, Spring.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Open source software; Linux; IT management; IT architecture; IT capabilities; technology adoption.;

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