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.

Publication information

Original languageEnglish
JournalStrategic Management Journal
Issue number13
Pages (from-to)2589-2610
Number of pages22
StatePublished - Dec 2016

    Research areas

  • Communities, Open-source software, Problem-solving, Project organization, Communication

ID: 44341704