Examining Turnover in Open Source Software Projects Using Logistic Hierarchical Linear Modeling Approach

  • Pratyush N Sharma
  • John Hulland
  • Sherae Daniel
Part of the IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology book series (IFIPAICT, volume 378)


Developer turnover in open source software projects is a critical and insufficiently researched problem. Previous research has focused on understanding the developer motivations to contribute using either the individual developer perspective or the project perspective. In this exploratory study we argue that because the developers are embedded in projects it is imperative to include both perspectives. We analyze turnover in open source software projects by including both individual developer level factors, as well as project specific factors. Using the Logistic Hierarchical Linear Modeling approach allows us to empirically examine the factors influencing developer turnover and also how these factors differ among developers and projects.


Open Source Software Turnover Logistic Hierarchical Linear Modeling 


  1. 1.
    Collofello, J., Rus, I., Chauhan, A., Smith-Daniels, D., Houston, D., Sycamore, D.M.: A System Dynamics Software Process Simulator for Staffing Policies Decision Support. In: Proceedings of the Thirty-First Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences, Hawaii (1998)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Hars, A., Ou, S.: Working for Free? Motivations for Participating in Open Source Projects. International Journal of Electronic Commerce 6(3), 25–39 (2002)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hertel, G., Niedner, S., Herrmann, S.: Motivation of Software Developers in Open Source Projects: an Internet-Based Survey of Contributors to the Linux Kernel. Research Policy (32), 1159–1177 (2003)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Joyce, E., Kraut, R.E.: Predicting Continued Participation in Newsgroups. Journal of Computer Mediated Communication (11), 723–747 (2006)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Raudenbush, S.W.: Centering Predictors in Multilevel Analysis: Choices and consequences. Multilevel Modeling Newsletter (1), 10–12 (1989)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Raudenbush, S.W., Bryk, A.S.: Hierarchical Linear Models, 2nd edn. Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks (2002)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Reel, J.S.: Critical Success Factors In Software Projects. IEEE Software 16(3), 18–23 (1999)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Robles, G., Gonzalez-Barahona, J.M.: Contributor Turnover in Libre Software Projects. In: Open Source Systems 2006. IFIP, vol. 203, pp. 273–286. Springer, Boston (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Rumberger, R.W.: Dropping Out of Middle School: A Multi-Level Analysis of Students and Schools. American Educational Research Journal 32(3), 583–625 (1995)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Stewart, K.J., Ammeter, T.A., Maruping, L.: Impacts of License Choice and Organizational Sponsorship on User Interest and Development Activity in Open Source Software Projects. Information Systems Research 17(2), 126–144 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Snijders, T., Bosker, R.: Multi Level Analysis: An Introduction to Basic and Advanced Multilevel Modeling. Sage Publications (1999)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© IFIP International Federation for Information Processing 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Pratyush N Sharma
    • 1
  • John Hulland
    • 2
  • Sherae Daniel
    • 1
  1. 1.Joseph M Katz Graduate School of BusinessUniversity of PittsburghPittsburghUSA
  2. 2.Terry College of BusinessUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA

Personalised recommendations