Open Source Development, Communities and Quality

Volume 275 of the series IFIP – The International Federation for Information Processing pp 93-104

Lost and Gained in Translation: Adoption of Open Source Software Development at Hewlett-Packard

  • Catharina MelianAffiliated withStockholm School of Economics, Center for Media and Economic Psychology
  • , Magnus MähringAffiliated withDepartment of Marketing and Strategy, Stockholm School of Economics


What happens when an organization form that has emerged in one context is brought into a different context? In this paper, a longitudinal field study approach is used to explore how Hewlett-Packard (HP) molded open source software development (OSSD) into a proprietary software development approach called “Progressive Open Source” (POS). With the help of actornetwork theory, we understand this as a process of translation and find that some central characteristics of OSSD where lost in the translation into POS while other characteristics were gained.