From Closed to Open: Job Role Changes, Individual Predispositions, and the Adoption of Commercial Open Source Software Development

51 Pages Posted: 25 May 2007 Last revised: 25 Jan 2016

See all articles by Oliver Alexy

Oliver Alexy

Technische Universität München (TUM), TUM School of Management

Joachim Henkel

TUM School of Management - Technische Universität München (TUM)

Martin W. Wallin

Chalmers University of Technology - Technology Management and Economics; ETH Zurich, Department of Management, Technology, and Economics

Date Written: October 15, 2012

Abstract

When trying to attain the benefits of open source software (OSS), proprietary closed source software (PCSS) firms are struggling to adopt this radically different practice of software development. We approach these adoption challenges as a problem of gaining support for organizational innovation. Through a mixed-method research design consisting of qualitative interviews and a survey of employees of a large telecommunications firm, we find that the organizational innovation to commercially engage in OSS has different impacts on technical and administrative dimensions of different job roles. Accordingly, individuals enacting different job roles are — on average — more or less well aligned with the OSS practice and OSS processes per se. We find that individual-level attributes can counterbalance the job role changes that weaken support for adopting OSS, while perceived organizational commitment has no effect. Suggestions for PCSS firms are presented and implications for innovation literature are discussed.

Keywords: Open source software, organizational innovation, organizational change, open innovation; R&D

JEL Classification: O33, O32, L17, O31

Suggested Citation

Alexy, Oliver and Henkel, Joachim and Wallin, Martin W., From Closed to Open: Job Role Changes, Individual Predispositions, and the Adoption of Commercial Open Source Software Development (October 15, 2012). Research Policy, Vol. 42, 2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=988363 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.988363

Oliver Alexy (Contact Author)

Technische Universität München (TUM), TUM School of Management ( email )

Arcisstr. 21
Munich, 80333
Germany
+49-89-289-52803 (Phone)
+49-89-289-52899 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.ent.wi.tum.de

Joachim Henkel

TUM School of Management - Technische Universität München (TUM) ( email )

Arcisstr. 21
Munich, D-80333
Germany

Martin W. Wallin

Chalmers University of Technology - Technology Management and Economics ( email )

Vera Sandbergs Alle 8
Gothenburg, SE-41296
Sweden

ETH Zurich, Department of Management, Technology, and Economics ( email )

Weinbergstrasse 56/58
Zurich, CH-8092
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://www.smi.ethz.ch

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