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.
- Open-source software
- Project organization