A Lightweight Model of Component Reuse: A Study of Software Packages in Debian GNU/Linux
Posted: 1 Jul 2008 Last revised: 2 Sep 2014
Date Written: February 1, 2008
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
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