Poiesis & Praxis

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 54–73 | Cite as

The institutionalization of Open Source

  • R.A. GehringEmail author


Using concepts of neoinstitutional economics, such as transaction cost economics, institutional economics, property rights theory, and information economics, the development of the Open Source movement is investigated. Following the evolution of institutions in Open Source, it is discussed what the comparative institutional advantages of this model are. The conclusion is that it is the institutional framework of Open Source, not merely the low cost of Open Source software that makes it an attractive alternative mode of organizing the production and distribution of software and software-related services. Alternative organizations will be formed and existing organizations will be transformed to take advantage of its opportunities.


Transaction Cost Intellectual Property Open Source Open Source Software Institutional Framework 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unter Rückgriff auf Konzepte der neuen Institutionenökonomik—Transaktionskosten, Institutionen, Eigentumsrechte und Informationsökonomik—wird die Entstehung der Open-Source-Bewegung untersucht. Die Herausbildung von Institutionen innerhalb der Open-Source-Bewegung wird hinsichtlich der dadurch induzierten komparativen Vorteile diskutiert. Es wird geschlussfolgert, dass nicht singuläre Faktoren wie etwa der niedrige Preis von Open-Source-Software für die Akzeptanz dieses Modelles ausschlaggebend sind. Vielmehr ist es die Gesamtheit der institutionellen Rahmenbedingungen, die Open Source als alternatives Modell für die Produktion und Distribution von Software attraktiv machen. Es ist davon auszugehen, dass unter Verwendung dieses Modells alternative Organisationen zur Softwareproduktion entstehen werden bzw. bestehende Organisationen sich transformieren.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Informatik und GesellschaftTechnische Universität BerlinBerlinGermany

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