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Firms on SourceForge

  • Eilhard, Jan

This paper explores empirically what factors influence a firm’s decision to contribute and to take leadership in open source projects. Increasing firms’ participation in the development of open source software (OSS) is generally perceived as a puzzle. Assuming that firms face a ”Make-or-Buy” decision before using OSS, we argue that contribution is in fact the best way for them to keep control of their supplier in a context where incomplete open source licenses govern transactions. Building on this proposition, we derive predictions on the drivers of firms’ contribution and leadership in open source projects, and test them on a unique dataset of 4,808 open source projects extracted from Sourceforge. Our empirical findings confirm the predictions and lend support to our hypotheses.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/7809/1/MPRA_paper_7809.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 7809.

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Date of creation: 28 Jan 2008
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:7809
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  1. 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.
  2. Nishaal Gooroochurn & Aoife Hanley, 2006. "A Tale of Two Literatures: Transaction Cost and Property Rights in Innovation Outsourcing," Occasional Papers 17, Industrial Economics Division.
  3. Linus Dahlander, 2005. "Appropriation And Appropriability In Open Source Software," International Journal of Innovation Management (ijim), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 9(03), pages 259-285.
  4. Kamien, Morton I. & Zang, Israel, 2000. "Meet me halfway: research joint ventures and absorptive capacity," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 18(7), pages 995-1012, October.
  5. Grossman, Sanford J & Hart, Oliver, 1985. "The Cost and Benefits of Ownership: A Theory of Vertical and Lateral Integration," CEPR Discussion Papers 70, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Veugelers, Reinhilde & Cassiman, Bruno, 1999. "Make and buy in innovation strategies: evidence from Belgian manufacturing firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 63-80, January.
  7. Oliver E. Williamson, 1967. "Hierarchical Control and Optimum Firm Size," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 75, pages 123.
  8. James Love & Stephen Roper, 2002. "Internal Versus External R&D: A Study of R&D Choice with Sample Selection," International Journal of the Economics of Business, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 9(2), pages 239-255.
  9. Henkel, Joachim, 2006. "Selective revealing in open innovation processes: The case of embedded Linux," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(7), pages 953-969, September.
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