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Open Source Project Collapse – Sources and Patterns of Failure

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Title: Open Source Project Collapse – Sources and Patterns of Failure
Authors: Ehls, Daniel
Keywords: Collapse
Open Source
Social Practice
Issue Date: 04 Jan 2017
Abstract: Why do open source projects fail? Open source projects have gained tremendous momentum, in theory, managerial practice and global economy. However, a large number of projects are now dormant, collapsed, or abandoned. Even celebrated success stories lose developers and fail. Yet, failure is underexplored and our understanding of developer departure is limited. Previous literature has concentrated on prospering projects, attracting contributors, and expanding communities, but it is unclear why even well-integrated members leave and projects fail. This study explores open source project failure by drawing on ten in-depth open source software case studies and netnographic analyses. We identify antecedents of developer departure, discover patterns of project collapse, and reveal where members move. We complement the dominant research logic of how to facilitate membership on-boarding with the aspect of understanding de-boarding. Our results enhance our understanding of why and how open projects fail and involve implications for open organizations.
Pages/Duration: 10 pages
ISBN: 978-0-9981331-0-2
DOI: 10.24251/HICSS.2017.645
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Appears in Collections:Open Source Application Software, Organizing and Innovation Minitrack

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