Delivering the Whole Product: Business Model Impacts and Agility Challenges in a Network of Open Source Firms

Delivering the Whole Product: Business Model Impacts and Agility Challenges in a Network of Open Source Firms

Joseph Feller (University College Cork, Ireland), Patrick Finnegan (University College Cork, Ireland) and Jeremy Hayes (University College Cork, Ireland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-61520-969-9.ch058
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Abstract

It has been argued that competitive necessities will increasingly require OSS companies to participate in cooperative business networks in order to offer the complete product/service (whole product) demanded by customers. It is envisaged that these business networks will enhance the business models of participant firms by supplementing their value-adding activities and increasing responsiveness to customers. However, while such propositions have intuitive appeal, there is a lack of empirical research on such networks. This article examines Zea Partners, a network of small open source companies cooperating to deliver the ‘whole product’ in the area of content management systems (CMSs). It investigates how participation in the network augments the business models of participant companies and identifies the business agility challenges faced by the network. The article concludes that reconciling the coordination needs of OSS networks with the operational practices of participant firms is a critical issue if such networks are to achieve adaptive efficiency to deliver whole products in a ‘bazaar-friendly’ manner.

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