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Title: Why do commercial companies contribute to open source software?
Authors: Andersen-Gott, M
Ghinea, G
Bygstad, B
Keywords: Open source software;Commercial;Drivers
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: International Journal of Information Management, 32(2): 106-117, Apr 2012
Abstract: Many researchers have pointed out that the opensource movement is an interesting phenomenon that is difficult to explain with conventional economic theories. However, while there is no shortage on research on individuals’ motivation for contributing to opensource, few have investigated the commercial companies’ motivations for doing the same. A case study was conducted at three different companies from the IT service industry, to investigate three possible drivers: sale of complimentary services, innovation and open sourcing (outsourcing). We offer three conclusions. First, we identified three main drivers for contributing to opensource, which are (a) selling complimentary services, (b) building greater innovative capability and (c) cost reduction through open sourcing to an external community. Second, while previous research has documented that the most important driver is selling complimentary services, we found that this picture is too simple. Our evidence points to a broader set of motivations, in the sense that all our cases exhibit combinations of the three drivers. Finally, our findings suggest that there might be a shift in how commercial companies view opensource software. The companies interviewed have all expressed a moral obligation to contribute to open source.
Description: This is the post-print version of the Article. The official published version can be accessed from the link below
ISSN: 0268-4012
Appears in Collections:Publications
Computer Science
Dept of Computer Science Research Papers

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