To Contribute or Not to Contribute, an Exploratory Study on the Determinants for Contributing in OSS Projects

23 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2009 Last revised: 30 Oct 2009

Date Written: July 1, 2009

Abstract

This empirical study explores what the determinants for contributing are among individuals who belong to projects created for the development of Open Source Software. Our goal is to verify if current theoretical conjectures actually explain differences in individual contribution behaviour, and to explore other plausible explanations. Among the motivators for contributing, we report the search for recognition, the complementarities with own work, and the skills or capacities for contributing. The presence of many team members discourages contribution, while the number of outsider contributors increase participation.

Keywords: Cooperation, Public Goods, Free-riding, Altruism, Collectives, Networks, Open Source Products, Software Industry.

JEL Classification: H41, H42, D64, L14, L17, L86, P32

Suggested Citation

Mendez-Duron, Rebeca, To Contribute or Not to Contribute, an Exploratory Study on the Determinants for Contributing in OSS Projects (July 1, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1433393 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1433393

Rebeca Mendez-Duron (Contact Author)

Universidad de las Islas Baleares ( email )

Crtra. Valldemossa, km 7.5
Ed. Jovellanos
Palma de Mallorca, Illles Balears 07122
Spain
+34-971172001 (Phone)
+34-971172389 (Fax)

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