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.

Key Features

*This book fills a substantial gap in this field *Serves as an invaluable reference for all those interested in OSS *The information is broad in scope


economists, analysts, business people

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).


No. of pages:
© 2006
Elsevier Science
Print ISBN:
Electronic ISBN:

About the authors

Jürgen Bitzer

Affiliations and Expertise

Free University Berlin, Germany

Philipp Schröder

Affiliations and Expertise

Dept. of Economics, Aarhus School of Business, Denmark


"The topic of open source software development is truly interesting, and very timely. There is clearly a need for a book like this on the economics of the phenomenon. This book, due to its analytical and theoretical focus, will be a great complement to the many books that have been published on the phenomenon....The editorial team is highly accomplished and well regarded in the research community. They are very well known for the contributions to the economic theory on open source software, and I have personally been referencing their work for several years...The list of authors is very impressive and the articles are really great. The book is certainly going to attract a very wide readership based on the editors very high recognition, the list of authors, and the topics of the chapters. I truly enjoyed reading the chapters." Professor Georg von Krogh, Chair of Strategic Management and Innovation, Department of Management, Technology and Economics, ETH Zurich