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Do Software Firms Collaborate or Compete? A Model of Coopetition in Community-initiated OSS Projects

Do Software Firms Collaborate or Compete? A Model of Coopetition in Community-initiated OSS Projects

Category
Journal publication
Abstract
Background: An increasing number of commercial firms are participating in Open Source Software (OSS) projects to reduce their development cost and increase technical innovativeness. When collaborating with other firms whose sought values are conflicts of interests, firms may behave uncooperatively leading to harmful impacts on the common goal. Aim: This study explores how software firms both collaborate and compete in OSS projects. Method: We adopted a mixed research method on three OSS projects. Result: We found that commercial firms participating in community-initiated OSS projects collaborate in various ways across the organizational boundaries. While most of firms contribute little, a small number of firms that are very active and account for large proportions of contributions. We proposed a conceptual model to explain for coopetition among software firms in OSS projects. The model shows two aspects of coopetition can be managed at the same time based on firm gatekeepers. Conclusion: Firms need to operationalize their coopetition strategies to maximize value gained from participating in OSS projects.
Language
English
Author(s)
Affiliation
  • University of South-Eastern Norway
  • SINTEF Digital / Software Engineering, Safety and Security
  • Diverse norske bedrifter og organisasjoner
  • University of Jyväskylä
Year
2019
Published in
e-Informatica: Software Engineering Journal
ISSN
1897-7979
Publisher
Technical University of Wroclaw
Volume
13
Issue
1
Page(s)
37 - 62