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Transition of Governance in a Mature Open Software Source Community: Evidence from the Debian Case

Author

Listed:
  • Sadowski, Bert

    () (University of Technology Eindhoven)

  • Sadowski-Rasters, Gaby

    () (Municipality of Eindhoven)

  • Duysters, Geert

    () (UNU-MERIT)

Abstract

As flourishing, productive open source software (OSS) communities mature, they have to introduce a variety of governance mechanisms to manage the participation of their members and to coordinate the launch of new releases. In contrast to other modes of governance of OSS communities, the Debian community introduced new mechanisms of informal administrative control based on a constitution, elected leaders and new functions attributed to interactive communication channels (like mailing lists or IRC channels) that can provide for community effects (and feedback). We show that these control mechanisms were introduced as a response to emerging innovative opportunities due the usage of source packages and heterogeneous learning processes by different groups within the Debian community.

Suggested Citation

  • Sadowski, Bert & Sadowski-Rasters, Gaby & Duysters, Geert, 2007. "Transition of Governance in a Mature Open Software Source Community: Evidence from the Debian Case," MERIT Working Papers 039, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  • Handle: RePEc:unm:unumer:2007039
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    File URL: https://www.merit.unu.edu/publications/wppdf/2007/wp2007-039.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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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. Sadowski, Bert M., 2017. "Advanced users and the adoption of high speed broadband: Results of a living lab study in the Netherlands," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 1-14.
    3. F. Rullani & L. Zirulia, 2011. "A supply side story for a threshold model: Endogenous growth of the free and open source community," Working Papers wp781, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Open Source Software community; Governance Mechanism; Debian Community;

    JEL classification:

    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General

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