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Penguin in a new suit: a tale of how de novo entrants emerged to harness free and open source software communities

Linus Dahlander

Industrial and Corporate Change, 2007, vol. 16, issue 5, 913-943

Abstract: A growing body of literature has explored the motivations for individuals to take part in free and open source software (FOSS), yet how firms participate is largely an unattended research area. Building on information from an extensive dataset of secondary sources and 30 in-depth interviews, I show that de novo entrants have emerged in conjunction with a changing institutional infrastructure and a more pragmatic attitude toward firms that focus on technological benefits rather than ideology. To understand how these firms try to harness the work of these communities, I use the empirical data to derive a 2*2 matrix of different approaches. The X axis reflects whether or not the firms initiated a new community or relied on communities founded by peers, whereas the Y axis represents the degree of participation of the firm in the community. This taxonomy illustrates how de novo entrant are initiating new forms of communities or joining communities established by peers. This suggests that while many of the central pillars of FOSS remains, de novo entrants have emerged to find new ways of making business resulting in various implications for firm strategies and knowledge disclosure. Copyright 2007 , Oxford University Press.

Date: 2007
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