Can Open Source Projects Succeed When the Producers are Not Users? Lessons from the Data Processing Field

Management International, Vol 16, pp 113-127, 2012

Previous version: M@rsouin Working Paper No. 55

45 Pages Posted: 30 Sep 2010 Last revised: 6 Sep 2014

See all articles by Nicolas Jullien

Nicolas Jullien

IMT Atlantique; M@rsouin (Môle Amoricain de Recherche sur la Société de l'information et les Usages d'Internet)

Karine Roudaut

Telecom Bretagne

Date Written: September 29, 2010

Abstract

Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) proposes an original way to solve the incentive dilemma for the production of information goods, based on von~Hippel (1988)'s user-as-innovator principle: as users benefit from innovation, they have incentive to produce it, and as they can expect cumulative innovation on their own proposition, they have incentive to share it.

But what is the incentive for producers when they are not users? We discuss this question via a quantitative study of FLOSS projects in “algorithm-based industries”. We find that in that case producers hardly participate in such projects.

Keywords: Knowledge economics, sociology, open source, science, standardization

JEL Classification: O31, O32

Suggested Citation

Jullien, Nicolas and Roudaut, Karine, Can Open Source Projects Succeed When the Producers are Not Users? Lessons from the Data Processing Field (September 29, 2010). Management International, Vol 16, pp 113-127, 2012; Previous version: M@rsouin Working Paper No. 55. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1684622 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1684622

Nicolas Jullien (Contact Author)

IMT Atlantique ( email )

Technopole de Brest Iroise
Brest, 29238
France

M@rsouin (Môle Amoricain de Recherche sur la Société de l'information et les Usages d'Internet) ( email )

France

Karine Roudaut

Telecom Bretagne ( email )

46, rue Barrault
Paris, 75013
France

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