How Do Firms Make Use of Open Source Communities?

TitleHow Do Firms Make Use of Open Source Communities?
Publication TypeMiscellaneous
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsDahlander, L, Magnusson, M
Secondary TitleLong Range Planning
Keywordscase study, cendio, email, mailing list, mysql, roxen, secondary data, sot

Relying on four in-depth case studies of firms involved with open source software, we investigate how firms make use of open source communities, and how that use is associated with their business models. Three themes - accessing, aligning and assimilating -are inductively developed for how the firms relate to the external knowledge created in the communities. For each theme, we make an argument about the tactics associated with each theme and their positive and negative consequences. The findings are related to the literature on the open and distributed nature of innovation, and various theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.


"To obtain more information about the firms’ relationships with their respective communities, we followed mailing lists and forums over a three-month period, checking them at least three times a week. "
"Firm data. Secondary sources, including annual reports, company directories, business and specialist press and homepages, were used to gather information on firms"

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