e-Informatica Software Engineering Journal Do Software Firms Collaborate or Compete? A Model of Coopetition in Community-initiated OSS Projects

Do Software Firms Collaborate or Compete? A Model of Coopetition in Community-initiated OSS Projects

[1]Anh Nguyen-Duc, Daniela S. Cruzes, Snarby Terje and Pekka Abrahamsson, "Do Software Firms Collaborate or Compete? A Model of Coopetition in Community-initiated OSS Projects", In e-Informatica Software Engineering Journal, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 37–62, 2019. DOI: 10.5277/e-Inf190102.

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Authors

Anh Nguyen-Duc, Daniela S. Cruzes, Snarby Terje, Pekka Abrahamsson

Abstract

Background: An increasing number of commercial firms are participating in Open Source Software (OSS) projects to reduce their development cost and increase technical innovativeness. When collaborating with other firms whose sought values are conflicts of interests, firms may behave uncooperatively leading to harmful impacts on the common goal.
Aim: This study explores how software firms both collaborate and compete in OSS projects.
Method: We adopted a mixed research method on three OSS projects.
Result: We found that commercial firms participating in community-initiated OSS projects collaborate in various ways across the organizational boundaries. While most of firms contribute little, a small number of firms that are very active and account for large proportions of contributions. We proposed a conceptual model to explain for coopetition among software firms in OSS projects. The model shows two aspects of coopetition can be managed at the same time based on firm gatekeepers.
Conclusion: Firms need to operationalize their coopetition strategies to maximize value gained from participating in OSS projects.

Keywords

COSS, coopetition, collaboration, competition, open source software, case study

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