A Lightweight Model of Component Reuse: A Study of Software Packages in Debian GNU/Linux

Posted: 1 Jul 2008 Last revised: 2 Sep 2014

See all articles by Sebastian Spaeth

Sebastian Spaeth

University of Hamburg

Georg von Krogh

ETH Zurich

Matthias Stuermer

ETH Zurich

Stefan Haefliger

ETH Zürich - Department of Management, Technology, and Economics (D-MTEC); City, University of London

Date Written: February 1, 2008

Abstract

Software firms implement software reuse programs in IS development in order to save development costs, enhance knowledge sharing, and improve product quality. Such programs contain incentive contracts, career promises, and reuse policies for motivting developers. Research is scant on component reuse in the open source software development where software reuse programs are absent. Using theory on knowledge transfer, empirical research on software reuse and open sourc esoftware development, we develop a lightweight model of component reuse in open source software, substituting elements of software reuse programs in IS development. Testing this model on a sample of software packages from Debian GNU/Linux, we find that organizational characteristics (membership in umbrella projects, listing on indexing repositories, age, documentation, dominant programming languages, and non-restrictive licenses) explain more extensive component reuse. Implications for research and management practice are discussed.

Keywords: software reuse, component reuse, knowledge transfer, open source software, innovation

Suggested Citation

Spaeth, Sebastian and von Krogh, Georg and Stuermer, Matthias and Haefliger, Stefan, A Lightweight Model of Component Reuse: A Study of Software Packages in Debian GNU/Linux (February 1, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1153968

Sebastian Spaeth (Contact Author)

University of Hamburg ( email )

Von-Melle-Park 9
Hamburg, 20146
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://digital-markets.info

Georg Von Krogh

ETH Zurich ( email )

D-MTEC, SMI, WEV J 411
Weinbergstrasse 56/58
Zurich, 8092
Switzerland
+41 44 632 88 50 (Phone)

Matthias Stuermer

ETH Zurich ( email )

Zürichbergstrasse 18
8092 Zurich, CH-1015
Switzerland

Stefan Haefliger

ETH Zürich - Department of Management, Technology, and Economics (D-MTEC) ( email )

ETH-Zentrum
Zurich, CH-8092
United States

City, University of London ( email )

Northampton Square
London, EC1V OHB
United Kingdom

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