Presentation Title

The Guided Evolution of Open Source Communities

Advisor Information

Matt Germonprez

Location

UNO Criss Library, Room 232

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

4-3-2016 1:45 PM

End Date

4-3-2016 2:00 PM

Abstract

Open source communities evolve. Often, they grow from infant communities of a few collaborative members sharing source code, to highly active communities, comprised of thousands of members developing source code that shapes the world we live in. Typically, open source communities are comprised of voluntary members who use online collaboration tools to develop open source software. However, the recent engagement of for-profit corporations with open source communities has become an important area of research interest. Prior research investigated the role of corporations in communal ideology, the impact of corporate involvement on communal governance structures, and the ways that corporations can influence communities (Crowston, Wei, Howison, & Wiggins, 2012). In our research, we continue the line of research that explores corporate-communal engagements; specifically exploring how corporate involvement impacts how open source communities evolve beyond their early foundations. An increasingly common way to advance communities with heavy corporate involvement is to manage the relationship through neutral third party brokers such that no single corporation gains an unfair position within the community. A foundation, like the Linux Foundation, serves as an impartial broker that assumes administrative support and provides legal stability for the otherwise loosely connected community. Over time, corporate-communal engagements naturally evolve. In this research, I explore how community members, corporate members, and third party foundations negotiate the changing needs of these unique arrangements. In particular, I propose that foundations fulfill a special role in guiding this evolution. In my presentation, I cover how I have come to understand corporate-communal engagements and the role that foundations play in guiding the evolution of these arrangements.

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COinS
 
Mar 4th, 1:45 PM Mar 4th, 2:00 PM

The Guided Evolution of Open Source Communities

UNO Criss Library, Room 232

Open source communities evolve. Often, they grow from infant communities of a few collaborative members sharing source code, to highly active communities, comprised of thousands of members developing source code that shapes the world we live in. Typically, open source communities are comprised of voluntary members who use online collaboration tools to develop open source software. However, the recent engagement of for-profit corporations with open source communities has become an important area of research interest. Prior research investigated the role of corporations in communal ideology, the impact of corporate involvement on communal governance structures, and the ways that corporations can influence communities (Crowston, Wei, Howison, & Wiggins, 2012). In our research, we continue the line of research that explores corporate-communal engagements; specifically exploring how corporate involvement impacts how open source communities evolve beyond their early foundations. An increasingly common way to advance communities with heavy corporate involvement is to manage the relationship through neutral third party brokers such that no single corporation gains an unfair position within the community. A foundation, like the Linux Foundation, serves as an impartial broker that assumes administrative support and provides legal stability for the otherwise loosely connected community. Over time, corporate-communal engagements naturally evolve. In this research, I explore how community members, corporate members, and third party foundations negotiate the changing needs of these unique arrangements. In particular, I propose that foundations fulfill a special role in guiding this evolution. In my presentation, I cover how I have come to understand corporate-communal engagements and the role that foundations play in guiding the evolution of these arrangements.