Open Source Application Software, Organizing and Innovation Minitrack

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Open Source (OS) is an approach to design and development based on shared and open access to a common set of design artifacts, driven by volunteer communities, or ‘crowds’. The original form of OS, software development, is seen as a harbinger for future forms of organizing and innovation. Work is increasingly being conducted by crowds on software platforms such as Github or Mechanical Turk, and innovations are often crowdsourced on platforms such as OpenIDEO, or shared in 3D printing communities such as Thingiverse. As OS is becoming an important paradigm for innovation, design, and development, the understanding of its basic mechanisms promises to deliver value to a wide range of phenomena. This minitrack solicits three types of submissions:

  • Work on OS application software and OS software platforms - Papers that focus on open source application software used for profit or non-profit purposes. Topics include:
    • OS enterprise software (e.g. CRM-/ERP-/BPM-software, business intelligence software)
    • OS development platforms (e.g. Github, Sourceforge, Thingiverse etc.)
    • Dissemination, use and maintenance
    • Maturity, forking, licensing and commercialisation

  • Work on the fundamental foundations of OS organizing - Papers that investigate the underlying principles by which open communities organize themselves and achieve effective coordination, learning, and stakeholder communication. Topics include:
    • Coordination
    • Learning
    • Transparency & openness
    • Lifecycles
    • Community building, governance & structure
    • Socialization

  • Work on OS innovation processes - Papers that inquire into OS innovation and the processes which lead to innovative, creative, and/or successful outcomes. Topics include:
    • Design & development routines
    • Emergent software methodologies
    • Exploration, exploitation, and ambidexterity
    • Conditions, processes, and structures favouring innovative and creative outcomes
    • Problem-solving & creativity

The types of studies that would be relevant for this mini-track include those that deal with the fundamental aspects of OS, but are not necessarily restricted to software (e.g. 3D printing, open hardware etc. are also relevant). Beyond this requirement, we are interested in all forms of research, including qualitative, quantitative, mixed, computational, and theoretical papers. In particular, we would like to see the following:

  • Ethnographic studies utilizing digital trace and/or archival data
  • Mixed methods studies combining computational and qualitative elements
  • Case studies and interpretive work
  • Computational studies involving big datasets

Minitrack Co-Chairs:

Alexandra Kees (Primary Contact)
University Bonn-Rhein-Sieg

Aron Lindberg
Stevens Institute of Technology


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 3 of 3
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    Open Source Project Collapse – Sources and Patterns of Failure
    ( 2017-01-04) Ehls, Daniel
    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.
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    Evolutionary Software Requirements Factors and their Effect on Open Source Project Attractiveness
    ( 2017-01-04) Vlas, Radu ; Robinson, William ; Vlas, Cristina
    Successful projects effectively manage their requirements. How the mix of different requirements evolves throughout a successful project life-cycle is poorly understood. Moreover, requirements practices may be changing, according to the authors of the New RE—a model of six critical requirements factors. The New RE focuses on leveraging existing components to create new functionality. This practice is also central to open-source development. Thus, to understand the proposed New RE model and its relationship to open-source development, in this study, we analyze over 200 projects from and compare them with a prior analysis of 31 projects from SourceForge. The results show that many of the proposed New RE factors are related to project attractiveness, which is important for open-source project success.
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