Open Source Strategy Research Blog

Updating business strategy for a world embracing open source

Friday, October 26, 2012

FSOSS 2012 Presentation

Here’s my presentation from FSOSS 2012 on born-open businesses.  Feedback and discussion is welcome!

fsoss2012 ODP

fsoss2012 PDF

fsoss2012 PPT

posted by Mekki at 12:26 pm  

Monday, October 15, 2012

Peer production and uncertainty

I argue that peer production is an emerging strategy that firms leverage to reduce different types of uncertainty that impede their strategic decision making.  It is distinct from traditional strategies for uncertainty reduction in that it combines several different strategies, leveraging their strengths and minimizing their weaknesses, while addressing the same underlying uncertainty issues that firms face in turbulent and high-velocity markets.  The implications for this conceptualization of strategy is that firms do not have to engage in high-stakes bets or hedging practices in order to reduce uncertainty, nor do they have to rely on aggregation of tactics or luck for success.  Instead, they can select peer production projects that best address the types of uncertainty that they are facing, effectively extending the firm’s boundaries without the costs associated with traditional boundary expansion.

You can download the full draft paper here if interested: Peer production and uncertainty

posted by Mekki at 9:35 pm  

Monday, October 15, 2012

Profit seeking identity and productivity in open source communities

The issue of profit seeking—an identification as someone who seeks financial compensation directly or indirectly for work efforts—has been a longstanding point of contention in open source communities.  Profit seeking has taken on prototypical form such that it has become a distinct group that individual participants in open source communities use for identity self-categorization.  Open source communities differentiate themselves in part by their profit seeking identity, represented by the perceptions of organization members of the degree to which the community allows, encourages, and supports individual profit seekers.  The present research investigates the impact of both individual- and organizational-level profit seeking identity on the productivity of open source communities.  Hypotheses are formulated that suggest that profit seeking identities at both the individual and organizational level are positively correlated with individual and organizational productivity respectively.  Further, it is hypothesized that organizational profit seeking identity has a cross-level positive effect on individual productivity, controlling for the individual profit seeking identity.  Finally, it is hypothesized that organizational profit seeking identity moderates the effect of individual profit seeking identity on individual productivity and that this moderation is moderated by the level of agreement about an organization’s profit seeking identity.  A research design is proposed to test these hypotheses using survey and archival data to be collected from active open source communities.  The potential implications for research and practice are discussed.

You can download the full research proposal here if interested: Profit seeking identity and productivity in open source communities

posted by Mekki at 9:29 pm  

Monday, October 15, 2012

The institutionalized open source project: Decoupling institutional myths and practical concerns to advance the institution of open source


The institution of open source has evolved out of an era where distinction from proprietary software development methods was akin to a social movement of objection to certain business practices and has moved into an era where open source development methods are widespread.  Membership in open source communities has continued to grow and the current participant base operates in a post-internet environment that is significantly different from the limited communication and collaboration environment that was present at the birth of the open source movement.  As a result, certain institutional myths that influenced open source community structure with the intent of helping the communities develop legitimacy and grow in the early days of the institution now hinder the practical activities that the communities depend on to survive and thrive.  This paper argues that open source communities need to find the balance of a loosely coupled state between their organization and the myths of the institution of open source, recognizing the institutional roots of the organization while adapting to modern practical concerns.   Open source communities that strike the right balance will improve their performance and maintain their legitimacy in the eyes of their stakeholders.  This balance will allow the institution of open source to continue to evolve, avoiding deinstitutionalization and remaining relevant in a changing environmental context.

You can download the full draft paper if you’re interested: The institutionalized open source project

posted by Mekki at 9:24 pm  

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