'Letting go of control' to embrace open source: Implications for company and community

Maha Shaikh, Tony Cornford

Research output: Book chapterConference contributionpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

It is increasingly understood across the information technology and services sector that engagement with the open source software model can serve as a means for firms to capture intellectual energy, learn about productive software processes, access relevant technical skills, identify and recruit staff, as well as obtain valuable resources including code. This paper reports a study undertaken within two large global IT companies that have been actively involved with open source for more than ten years. The study involved over 30 semi-structured interviews with employees of the companies drawn from top, middle, and lower level management, and included active and experienced developer as well as open source community members. Our findings indicate how these companies have adapted their day-to-day management practices to take into account the need for flexibility and freedom expected by open source communities. This paper focuses on how they 'let go of control' and what the implications of this are for both companies and the communities involved. Our data reveals a number of themes and in this paper we focus on three principal ones; issues of requirements, total cost of adoption, and alignment of open source engagement with long term company strategy.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 43rd Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS-43
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes
Event43rd Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS-43 - Koloa, Kauai, HI, United States
Duration: 5 Jan 20108 Jan 2010

Publication series

NameProceedings of the Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
ISSN (Print)1530-1605

Conference

Conference43rd Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, HICSS-43
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityKoloa, Kauai, HI
Period5/01/108/01/10

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