Business Models for Free and Open Source Software

74 Pages Posted: 16 Mar 2015 Last revised: 12 May 2016

See all articles by Chitu Okoli

Chitu Okoli

SKEMA Business School

An Nguyen

Foreign Trade University

Date Written: May 11, 2016


This study determines the key stakeholders, goals and existing business models for free and open source software (FOSS) by focusing on three major research questions: * Who are the key stakeholders involved in the creation, use and distribution of FOSS? * What are the goals of these FOSS stakeholders? * What business models exist that try to achieve the goals of various FOSS stakeholders?

To answer these research questions, we consulted 34 leading experts in FOSS using the Delphi survey method. At the end of three rounds, in addition to the business models that we originally identified and suggested, the experts identified a total of 27 business models for FOSS, 23 of which currently exist and 4 of which are proposed as potential models. In particular, the experts highlighted ten models (eight existing and two potential) as particularly important and noteworthy; they analyzed these ten in greater detail than the other 17 models.

This report presents ALL the data collected from the expert, including their detailed comments on each model. The report authors’ detailed analysis on the models is still being prepared; preliminary results are presented in Okoli, Chitu and Johannes Nguyen (2015), Business Models for Free and Open Source Software: Insights from a Delphi Study, Proceedings of the 21st Americas Conference on Information Systems. Puerto Rico, August 13-15, 2015 (available here:

Keywords: business models, free and open source software, free software, open source software, Delphi method

Suggested Citation

Okoli, Chitu and Nguyen, An, Business Models for Free and Open Source Software (May 11, 2016). Available at SSRN: or

Chitu Okoli (Contact Author)

SKEMA Business School ( email )

Grand Paris Campus
5 quai Marcel Dassault, Suresnes
Paris, 92150


An Nguyen

Foreign Trade University ( email )

91 Chua Lang St
Dong Da District
Hanoi, Hochiminh city 10000

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