Firms On Sourceforge
Source: Munich Personal Repec Archive
This paper explores empirically what factors influence a firm's decision to contribute and to take leadership in open source projects. Increasing firms' participation in the development of Open Source Software (OSS) is generally perceived as a puzzle. Assuming that firms face a "Make-or-Buy" decision before using OSS, the authors argue that contribution is in fact the best way for them to keep control of their supplier in a context where incomplete open source licenses govern transactions. Building on this proposition, they derive predictions on the drivers of firms' contribution and leadership in open source projects, and test them on a unique dataset of 4,808 open source projects extracted from Sourceforge. Their empirical findings confirm the predictions and lend support to their hypotheses.