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Competency rallying in electronic markets: implications for open source project success

Abstract

This paper studies the success of Open Source Software (OSS) projects in attracting developer interest and achieving project efficiency. The focus of our study is on examining the relationship between the four sets of capabilities proposed in the Theory of Competency Rallying (TCR) and the success of OSS projects. The data collected from 607 OSS projects mainly confirm that the capabilities proposed in the TCR are necessary for the success of OSS projects. The results of this study show that in order to succeed, OSS projects should constantly identify their market’s quality and functionality needs. Ability of OSS project managers to know which developers possess certain skills required to meet a particular market need is also found to be critical. Another capability that is recognised to be crucial in predicting project success is the ability of OSS developers in effectively addressing market needs and continuously learning from such experiences. Finally, the ability of stakeholders involving in addressing a particular market need to efficiently collaborate and fulfil that specific market need is found to be another essential capability required for OSS projects to succeed. Implications of the results for practitioners and the research community are presented.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    To our understanding, none of the four capabilities introduced by Crowston and Scozzi (2002) directly refers to “addressing the identified needs”. Thus, in this paper we assume that “development of competencies” actually means addressing the identified need by the employees and developing their competencies by the learning that occurs as a result of addressing the need. That is why we locate “development of competencies” as third capability while Crowston and Scozzi (2002) considered it as first capability.

  2. 2.

    GNU is an open source operating system developed by the GNU project. GNU is a recursive acronym that stands for “GNU is Not Unix”.

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Correspondence to Amir Hossein Ghapanchi.

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Responsible editor: Hans-Dieter Zimmermann

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Ghapanchi, A.H., Aurum, A. Competency rallying in electronic markets: implications for open source project success. Electron Markets 22, 117–127 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12525-012-0088-0

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Keywords

  • Competency rallying
  • Market needs
  • Project competencies
  • Open source software
  • OSS success

JEL classification

  • M00 (M - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting)