Communication Network Characteristics of Open Source Communities

TitleCommunication Network Characteristics of Open Source Communities
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2009
AuthorsHinds, D, Lee, RM
Refereed DesignationRefereed
Secondary TitleInternational Journal of Open Source Software and Processes
Pagination26 - 48
ISSN Number1942-3934

Empirical research has shown that social network structure is a critical success factor for various kinds of work groups. The authors extended this research to a new type of work group—the open source software project community—with the objective of exploring the role of communication networks within these intriguing projects. Using archival data from 143 open source project groups, the authors compiled six measures of social network structure and analyzed these in relation to four measures of group success. This study found that the social network structures of these project communities did not appear to be critical success factors at all, but rather they had no significant impact on success or their effect was opposite of that seen in prior studies of work groups. Various conjectures were suggested that might explain these results, offering opportunities for further research.

Full Text