The Chase for OSS Quality: The Meaning of Member Roles, Motivations, and Business Models

The Chase for OSS Quality: The Meaning of Member Roles, Motivations, and Business Models

Benno Luthiger (ETH Zurich, Switzerland) and Carola Jungwirth (University of Zurich, Switzerland)
Copyright: © 2007 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-210-7.ch007
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Abstract

This chapter explains why software users have good reasons to trust in the quality of OSS, even if they might have internalised the rule “If something has no price, it also has no value!” We present the idea that a system of incentives of both private programmers with their different motives to participate and companies paying their programmers for contributing to OSS, are responsible for the software quality—even if all programmers do not pursue a common purpose. The chapter delivers a conceptual framework from an economic perspective showing that every stakeholder can provide valuable input to the success of an open source project. Crowding out between contributors with different motivations does not necessarily exist even if companies with monetary intentions participate. Therefore, we assume OSS as an attractive forum for different interests that can seminally intertwine, while quality software is generated nearly as a by-product.

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