An Empirical Study of Volunteer Members' Perceived Turnover in Open Source Software Projects

TitleAn Empirical Study of Volunteer Members' Perceived Turnover in Open Source Software Projects
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsYu, Yiqing, Benlian Alexander, and Hess Thomas
Refereed DesignationRefereed
Secondary Title45th Hawai'i International Conference on System Sciences
Pagination3396-3405
Date Published01/2012
Keywordsdevelopers, launchpad, sourceforge, Survey
Abstract

Turnover of volunteer members and the ensuing instability bring about severe problems to open source software (OSS) projects. To better understand it, we based our study on Herzberg ́s two-factor theory to investigate the influence of hygiene factors on volunteer members ́ dissatisfaction and perceived turnover. After empirically testing the research model, we found shortcomings in project regulation and administration are the key reason for volunteer members ́ dissatisfaction, followed by future rewards and personal needs for software functionalities. By contrast, a possible lack of supportive working relationship among OSS developers was not found to be a trigger for developer dissatisfaction. Dissatisfaction was confirmed to be a significant predictor of perceived turnover. The results demonstrates generalized hygiene factors cannot unreflectively be transferred into the OSS context because volunteer members ́ personal expectation has a weaker influence on perceived turnover than objective attributes of OSS project. Our study further makes suggestions for project administrators.

Notes

"After designing the questionnaire, we conducted a web-based survey by inviting developers working in sourceforge.net and launchpad.net."