Investigating the Success of OSS Software Projects

Investigating the Success of OSS Software Projects

Amir Hossein Ghapanchi (Griffith University, Australia)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 11
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6485-2.ch005
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Whereas there are several instances of Open Source Software (OSS) projects that have achieved huge success in the market, a high failure rate has been reported for OSS projects. This study conducts a literature survey to gain insight into existing studies on the success of OSS projects. More specifically, this study seeks to extract the critical success factors for OSS projects. Based on the literature survey in this study, the authors found determinants of success in OSS projects and classified them into three broad categories of project traits, product traits, and network structure. These findings have important implications for both the OSS research community and OSS practitioners.
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1. Introduction

Although there are several successful instances of open source projects that have achieved a huge success in the market, it has been observed that most OSS projects are abandoned after a while and experience failure (Colazo & Fang 2009; Chengalur-Smith & Sidorova 2003). Addressing the current situation of a high failure rate amongst OSS projects, the focus of the present study is on helping OSS projects become aware of the factors that impact their success.

In response to the current situation of a high failure rate amongst OSS projects, our focus herein is on helping OSS projects increase their chance of success by informing them of the factors that may impact their success.

This paper provides an overview of current state-of-the-art research in OSS “success” literature. The aim of this research is to help OSS projects succeed by developing a framework that represents antecedents of “success” in OSS projects according to the literature. Moreover, in order to make more sense of the list of antecedents, this paper aims to bundle the antecedents into meaningful categories. Hence the research question guiding this study is as below:

  • RQ: What factors impact success in OSS projects, and how can we group them?

Given the current situation regarding the high failure rate of OSS projects and also the proliferating reliance of firms on OSS applications (Sen 2007), seeking answers for this question is important. The answers to this question can inform many OSS practitioners including OSS project managers, potential OSS adopters, and potential OSS sponsors of the factors that determine the future success of an OSS project.

This paper is organized as follows. Section 2 contains a literature review on OSS success. Section 3 presents the research methodology. Section 4 presents the results of the research, i.e. a framework for antecedents to success in OSS projects. Section 5 presents the concluding remarks.

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