Open Source in Action II: Business Collaboration Within an Open Source Project
As discussed throughout the dissertation, firms are able to profit from technological developments without having ownership. However, as with any public good, the absence of ownership of the invention means the innovating firm has limited options of protecting what they do not own against unintended use by legal means. Admittedly, they might obtain control over the project by assigning their own developers to work for an OSSDP. In turn, developers working in an OSSDP who earn salaries from the firm are also simultaneously embedded in organizational settings of the firm for which they work (Henkel 2009). By inserting their norms and beliefs, which partly reflect the employing firm's interest, into the OSSDP, these employees allow firms to (indirectly) influence the project’s trajectory – depending on the number of programmers assigned and their role on the project. Dahlander & O’Mahony (2011) consequently note that firms do not necessarily need to gain control over a project as long as they control individuals working on that project. This was the basis for the introduction of CBL and RDBC as means to supervise a project’s development.
KeywordsBusiness Model Mailing List Structural Hole Open Source Project Network Position
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