The quest for having a good understanding of the key to successful open-source software (OSS) development continues to motivate research. Aligned with works that build on the notion that an OSS development is tightly interrelated with its social environment (i.e., the OSS community), this research examines the relationship between interproject structure and OSS project success. We conceive OSS project success to be reflected in two forms, namely popularity (i.e. market success) and knowledge creation (i.e. technical success). We surveyed the OSS literature and theorized a contingent role of interproject connectedness in cultivating OSS projects. We posit (1) OSS project with more structural holes achieves higher popularity; (2) OSS project with fewer structural holes yields higher knowledge creation; and (3) these two relationships are enhanced with an increase in project maturity. Using a dataset longitudinally collected from SourceForge.net, we found that OSS projects with sparse connectedness to be more popular, which was prominent for those OSS projects at the mid-mature stage. Cohesive connectedness helped the OSS project, irrespective of its maturity, achieves higher knowledge creation. Findings from the study can provide a structural purview to identify OSS projects that are more likely to be successful.
Bibliographical noteEpub ahead of print. Published online: 13. February
- Open source software
- Interproject connectedness
- Knowledge creation