Journal Article

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

Linus Dahlander

in Industrial and Corporate Change

Volume 16, issue 5, pages 913-943
Published in print October 2007 | ISSN: 0960-6491
Published online August 2007 | e-ISSN: 1464-3650 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/icc/dtm026
Penguin in a new suit: a tale of how de novo entrants emerged to harness free and open source software communities

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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.

Journal Article.  12299 words. 

Subjects: Industrial History ; Business History ; Innovation ; Technological Change; Research and Development ; Industry Studies

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