Dilemmas within Commercial involvement in Open Source Software

Malgorzata Ciesielska, Ann Westenholz

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– This paper seeks to contribute to the literature on commercial involvement in open
source software, the levels of this involvement and the consequences of attempting to mix various
logics of action.
– This paper uses a case study approach based on mixed methods:
literature reviews and news searches, electronic surveys, qualitative interviews and observations. It
combines findings from several research projects as well as previous publications to present the
scope of commercial options within open source software projects and their consequences.
– Our findings show that higher levels of involvement in open source software
communities poses important questions about the balance between economic, technological and
social logics as well as about the benefits of being autonomous, having access to collaborative
networks and minimizing risks related to free-riding. There are 6 levels of commercial involvement
in open source and each of them is characterized by a different dilemma.
– The paper sheds light on the various level of business involvement in the open
source movement and emphasize that the popular ‘open innovation’ concept is only the first step in
real involvement and paradigm change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)-
JournalJournal of Organizational Change Management
Publication statusPublished - 17 Mar 2016


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