Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=946929
 
 

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Champions of Revealing - the Role of Open Source Developers in Commercial Firms


Joachim Henkel


TUM School of Management - Technische Universität München (TUM); Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

January 1, 2008


Abstract:     
The link between firms engaging in open source software (OSS) development and the OSS community is established by individual developers. This linkage might entail a principal-agent issue due to the developer's double allegiance to firm and OSS community, and expose the firm to the risk of losing intellectual property. Using both interviews and a large-scale survey, I substantiate the importance of the developer's role. However, neither interview data nor regression analysis show indications of commercially harmful revealing behavior induced by Free Software ideology. Management, on the other hand, sometimes seems to be overly concerned about openness. I conclude that a more positive stance towards openness will allow firms to better share in the benefits of open innovation processes.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 42

Keywords: Open source software, embedded Linux, employees, motivation, communities

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Date posted: November 24, 2006 ; Last revised: May 1, 2013

Suggested Citation

Henkel, Joachim, Champions of Revealing - the Role of Open Source Developers in Commercial Firms (January 1, 2008). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=946929 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.946929

Contact Information

Joachim Henkel (Contact Author)
TUM School of Management - Technische Universität München (TUM) ( email )
Arcisstr. 21
Munich, D-80333
Germany
Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)
77 Bastwick Street
London, EC1V 3PZ
United Kingdom
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