Motivating job design as a factor in open source governance

TitleMotivating job design as a factor in open source governance
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsHertel, G
Secondary TitleJ Manage Governance
Date PublishedMay
PublisherSpringer Science+Business Media

Successful open source software (OSS) projects can be considered as examples of how ambitious work results can be achieved in web-based collaboration even when monetary incentives are low or absent. While former explorations of motivational processes in OSS projects primarily focused on person-oriented aspects such as motives, interests, and expected benefits of contributors, job-related factors have been largely neglected. After discussing the limitations of a personoriented focus, a research perspective is suggested that concentrates on job design and work context in OSS based on frameworks from work psychology. A theoretical analysis is presented discussing job characteristics of successful OSS projects as potential explanations of the high motivation of OSS contributors. Compared to a person-oriented perspective, the results of a job-oriented approach might be better transferable to other projects (both OSS and ??closed source?? software development) and provide guidelines for the governance of successful web-based collaboration.

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