Interactive engagement with an open source community : a study of the relationships between organizations and an open source software community




Sims, Jonathan Paul

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This dissertation theoretically develops and empirically tests a model of interactive firm engagement with an open source software community. An inductive pilot study and subsequent interview analysis suggest that the nature of the relationship between a firm and an open source community varies in the degree by which a firm both "takes from" and "gives to" the community. I propose that a firm will experience direct effects from both giving to and taking from the community, and further propose that the interaction of these two behaviors, which I call interactive engagement, will lead to three firm-level consequences: an increase in the number of new products, higher levels of incremental (as opposed to radical) innovation, and shortened development and debug time. I test these hypotheses using regression analysis of questionnaire responses collected from 250 organizations that work with a popular open source software community.




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