Followership in an Open-source Software Project and Its Significance in Code Reuse

Qiqi Jiang, Chuan-Hoo Tan, Choon Ling Sia, Kwok-Kee Wei

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Code reuse is fundamental to the development of open-source software (OSS). Therefore, understanding how and why it occurs is important. To date, researchers have examined code reuse in OSS largely from the perspective of leaders. We show why followers must be considered as well. “Followers” are people who have had previous contacts with an individual from another project and who continue to associate with him or her. We consider two types of followers: developers (those directly involved in software development) and observers (those indirectly involved in it). We conduct a series of empirical investigations by using a longitudinal dataset of OSS projects hosted in GitHub, along with a survey and qualitative data. We find that followership can affect code reuse, but the effect depends on the nature of the follower (developer or observer). Overall, our study suggests that followership is important for code reuse in OSS because it enables participants to learn, and learning promotes code reuse.
Original languageEnglish
JournalMIS Quarterly
Volume43
Issue number4
Number of pages17
ISSN0276-7783
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jul 2019

Bibliographical note

Epub ahead of print. Published online: 14. July 2019

Keywords

  • Open-source software
  • Code reuse
  • Developer
  • Observer
  • Followership theory

Cite this

Jiang, Qiqi ; Tan, Chuan-Hoo ; Sia, Choon Ling ; Wei, Kwok-Kee. / Followership in an Open-source Software Project and Its Significance in Code Reuse. In: MIS Quarterly. 2019 ; Vol. 43, No. 4.
@article{9dd294c5813b45078bd5e027ba36c6f9,
title = "Followership in an Open-source Software Project and Its Significance in Code Reuse",
abstract = "Code reuse is fundamental to the development of open-source software (OSS). Therefore, understanding how and why it occurs is important. To date, researchers have examined code reuse in OSS largely from the perspective of leaders. We show why followers must be considered as well. “Followers” are people who have had previous contacts with an individual from another project and who continue to associate with him or her. We consider two types of followers: developers (those directly involved in software development) and observers (those indirectly involved in it). We conduct a series of empirical investigations by using a longitudinal dataset of OSS projects hosted in GitHub, along with a survey and qualitative data. We find that followership can affect code reuse, but the effect depends on the nature of the follower (developer or observer). Overall, our study suggests that followership is important for code reuse in OSS because it enables participants to learn, and learning promotes code reuse.",
keywords = "Open-source software, Code reuse, Developer, Observer, Followership theory, Open-source software, Code reuse, Developer, Observer, Followership theory",
author = "Qiqi Jiang and Chuan-Hoo Tan and Sia, {Choon Ling} and Kwok-Kee Wei",
note = "Epub ahead of print. Published online: 14. July 2019",
year = "2019",
month = "7",
day = "14",
doi = "10.25300/MISQ/2019/14043",
language = "English",
volume = "43",
journal = "M I S Quarterly",
issn = "0276-7783",
publisher = "M I S Research Center",
number = "4",

}

Followership in an Open-source Software Project and Its Significance in Code Reuse. / Jiang, Qiqi; Tan, Chuan-Hoo; Sia, Choon Ling; Wei, Kwok-Kee.

In: MIS Quarterly, Vol. 43, No. 4, 14.07.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Followership in an Open-source Software Project and Its Significance in Code Reuse

AU - Jiang, Qiqi

AU - Tan, Chuan-Hoo

AU - Sia, Choon Ling

AU - Wei, Kwok-Kee

N1 - Epub ahead of print. Published online: 14. July 2019

PY - 2019/7/14

Y1 - 2019/7/14

N2 - Code reuse is fundamental to the development of open-source software (OSS). Therefore, understanding how and why it occurs is important. To date, researchers have examined code reuse in OSS largely from the perspective of leaders. We show why followers must be considered as well. “Followers” are people who have had previous contacts with an individual from another project and who continue to associate with him or her. We consider two types of followers: developers (those directly involved in software development) and observers (those indirectly involved in it). We conduct a series of empirical investigations by using a longitudinal dataset of OSS projects hosted in GitHub, along with a survey and qualitative data. We find that followership can affect code reuse, but the effect depends on the nature of the follower (developer or observer). Overall, our study suggests that followership is important for code reuse in OSS because it enables participants to learn, and learning promotes code reuse.

AB - Code reuse is fundamental to the development of open-source software (OSS). Therefore, understanding how and why it occurs is important. To date, researchers have examined code reuse in OSS largely from the perspective of leaders. We show why followers must be considered as well. “Followers” are people who have had previous contacts with an individual from another project and who continue to associate with him or her. We consider two types of followers: developers (those directly involved in software development) and observers (those indirectly involved in it). We conduct a series of empirical investigations by using a longitudinal dataset of OSS projects hosted in GitHub, along with a survey and qualitative data. We find that followership can affect code reuse, but the effect depends on the nature of the follower (developer or observer). Overall, our study suggests that followership is important for code reuse in OSS because it enables participants to learn, and learning promotes code reuse.

KW - Open-source software

KW - Code reuse

KW - Developer

KW - Observer

KW - Followership theory

KW - Open-source software

KW - Code reuse

KW - Developer

KW - Observer

KW - Followership theory

UR - https://sfx-45cbs.hosted.exlibrisgroup.com/45cbs?url_ver=Z39.88-2004&url_ctx_fmt=info:ofi/fmt:kev:mtx:ctx&ctx_enc=info:ofi/enc:UTF-8&ctx_ver=Z39.88-2004&rfr_id=info:sid/sfxit.com:azlist&sfx.ignore_date_threshold=1&rft.object_id=954921386888&rft.object_portfolio_id=&svc.holdings=yes&svc.fulltext=yes

U2 - 10.25300/MISQ/2019/14043

DO - 10.25300/MISQ/2019/14043

M3 - Journal article

VL - 43

JO - M I S Quarterly

JF - M I S Quarterly

SN - 0276-7783

IS - 4

ER -