Problem-Formulation and Problem-Solving in Self-Organized Communities: How Modes of Communication Shape Project Behaviors in the Free Open-Source Software Community

Nicolai Juul Foss, Lars Frederiksen, Francesco Rullani

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    Building on the problem-solving perspective, we study behaviors related to projects and the communication-based antecedents of such behaviors in the free open-source software (FOSS) community. We examine two kinds of problem/project-behaviors: Individuals can set up projects around the formulation of new problems or join existing projects and define and/or work on subproblems within an existing problem. The choice between these two behaviors is influenced by the mode of communication. A communication mode with little a priori structure is the best mode for communicating about new problems (i.e., formulating a problem); empirically, it is associated with project launching behaviors. In contrast, more structured communication fits subproblems better and is related to project joining behaviors. Our hypotheses derive support from data from the FOSS community.
    TidsskriftStrategic Management Journal
    Udgave nummer13
    Sider (fra-til)2589-2610
    Antal sider22
    StatusUdgivet - dec. 2016


    • Communities
    • Open-source software
    • Problem-solving
    • Project organization
    • Communications