The Economics of Open Source Software Development

Edited By

  • Jürgen Bitzer, Free University Berlin, Germany
  • Philipp Schröder, Dept. of Economics, Aarhus School of Business, Denmark

Open Source Software (OSS) development appears to present a stark contrast to traditional production and innovation methods and an unlikely contestant in the marketplace. Some of the most striking features are that OSS development is based on contributions of volunteer programmers, that these programmers only associated with each other through informal communities, that the resulting software products are made available for free, and that this unconventional development method is able to produce software of high complexity and extraordinary quality. Obviously, the emergence of software has fundamentally changed the software business. The simple facts that production is carried out by voluntary private programmers and that the marketable outcomes are supplied to consumers for free, have resulted in far-reaching effects on market structures, business models, and innovation processes in the software industry. While incumbents had to adapt their strategies to this newly emerging competition, OSS-based firms had to develop viable business models enabling them to generate profits. These fundamental changes in the software industry have subsequently attracted the interest of analysts, business people and research in economics and management science.
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economists, analysts, business people


Book information

  • Published: August 2006
  • Imprint: ELSEVIER
  • ISBN: 978-0-444-52769-1

Table of Contents

1. The economics of Open Source Software development: An introduction (J. Bitzer, P.J. Schröder). 2. Decoding the Free/Open Source Software puzzle: A survey of theoretical and empirical contributions (M. A. Rossi). 3. Open Source Software: Free provision of complex public goods (J. Bessen). 4. Intrinsic motivations and profit-oriented firms in Open Source software. Do firms practise what they preach? (C. Rossi, A. Bonaccorsi). 5. Business models and community relationships of open source software firms (L. Dahlander, M. G. Magnusson). 6. A statistical analysis of defects in Debian and strategies for improving quality in free software projects (M. Michlmayer, A. Senyard). 7. Coworker governance in Open-Source projects (C. Lattemann, S. Stiglitz). 8. Bounty programs in free/libre/open source software (FLOSS) (S. Krishnamurthy, A. K. Tripathi). 9. An organizational perspective on Free and Open Source Software development (S. Vujovic, J.P. Ulhoi). 10. Linux vs. Windows: A comparison of applicaiton and platform innovation incentives for open Source and proprietary software platforms (E. Katsamakas, N. Economides). 11. The impact of entry and competition of Open Source Software on innovation activity (J. Bitzer, P.J.H. Schröder). 12. Application of social network analysis to the study of Open Source Software (Jin Xu, S. Christley, G. Madey).