Introducing Open Collaboration in the Public Sector: The Case of Social Coding on Github

28 Pages Posted: 18 Sep 2014 Last revised: 10 Oct 2014

Ines Mergel

Syracuse University - Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs

Date Written: September 16, 2014

Abstract

Open collaboration has evolved as a new venue for innovation creation in the public sector. Open collaboration is a concept known in open source communities outside of government. Government organizations are using online platforms to crowdsource and co-produce public sector innovations with the help of external and internal problem solvers. Most recently the U.S. federal government has allowed agencies to collaboratively create and share open source code on the social coding platform Github. A community of government employees is sharing open source code for website development, data sources, but also draft policy documents on Github. Quantitative data extracted from Github’s application programming interface is used to analyze the social network relationships between contributors to government code and the international reuse of open government tools developed on Github. In addition, qualitative interviews with government contributors in this social coding environment provide practical insights into new forms of co-development of open source code and policy drafting in the public sector.

Keywords: Open Innovation, Github

Suggested Citation

Mergel, Ines, Introducing Open Collaboration in the Public Sector: The Case of Social Coding on Github (September 16, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2497204 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2497204

Ines Mergel (Contact Author)

Syracuse University - Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs ( email )

215 Eggers Hall
Syracuse, NY 13244
United States

HOME PAGE: http://faculty.maxwell.syr.edu/iamergel/

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