Dissertation Summary
Essays on Value Creation from the Open Source Phenomenon: Understanding the Influence of Work Structures, Governance and Platforms
  • Under the supervision of Prof. Shirish C. Srivastava, Professor IS&OM Dept., HEC Paris
  • What lessons can IS and non-IS organizations learn from the unique value creation mechanisms of FLOSS communities that are associated with – a) its structures of work, b) its project team composition and governance structures and, c) collaborative development platforms?

Chapter 1: Structures of Work
Key findings of this chapter is forthcoming at Information Systems Research, 2018
Abstract: Grounding our study in the theory of collaboration through open superposition, we examine how the unique work structures observed in free (libre) and open source software (FLOSS) projects act as antecedents to their success. Specifically, we theorize about the motivational mechanisms that operate within superposed task structures and unearth the contextual conditions that may limit the influence of superposition on FLOSS project success. Furthermore, given the increasing usage of FLOSS by organizations, we investigate the specificities brought to these motivational mechanisms when FLOSS projects are owned by organizations. This research advances our understanding of work structures, motivation and organizational participation in FLOSS environments by describing the influence of task structures on the success of projects. The findings provide FLOSS researchers and practitioners with valuable insights for understanding and modeling project task structures to facilitate their success.

Chapter 2: Team Composition and Governance
Partial results of this chapter has been published in the proceedings of the 39th International Conference on Information Systems, San Francisco, 2018, as a full-research paper
Abstract: In this chapter, we examine the influence of restricting the main project code access on the likelihood of survival of FLOSS projects. By grounding this research in coordination theory and the theory of network governance we attempt to offer a more nuanced conceptualization of the mechanisms operating between the contributors, project composition and the survival of the project. This research advances our understanding of contributor roles, team composition and organizational participation in FLOSS environments. The findings provide researchers and practitioners with insights for designing effective FLOSS project teams that can contribute to the sustenance of such projects. The results from the empirical analysis conducted in the study are supplemented by a mathematical model that attempts to establish the boundary conditions associated with the hypothesized relationships.

Chapter 3: Collaborative Development Platforms
Abstract: This exploratory study of the Github distributed version control systems (DVCS) platform attempts to unearth the affordances of collaborative development platforms that allows the unique work and governance structures to emerge and create value. Since their appearance in 2001, Git based distributed DVCS, like GitHub, have revolutionized the way distributed software development is carried out. Of interest for this study, is the introduction of social features in these development platforms that affords new forms of collaborative development. Drawing insights from Zammuto et al. (2007) and using a mix of archival field studies and a survey-based approach, we identify a typology of affordances made available by the socio-technical development platforms.