Understanding the Relative Advantages of Social Proximity vs. Distance on the Dynamics of Project Emergence and Change
Karim R. Lakhani, Harvard Business School
Lee Fleming, Harvard Business School
Our research project will focus primarily on two issues: the factors shaping the emergence of the new open source projects, and the factors influencing the ability of open source projects to attract attention from developers and users. The central question in both questions is to understand the relative advantages of social proximity vs. distance on the dynamics of project emergence and change.
The data currently residing on SourceForge.net presents a unique opportunity to study these issues, which are of interest not only to students of the open source phenomenon, but also to students of innovation and social network processes. What strikes us as particularly valuable about the data on SourceForge.net is that it contains rich information on multiple levels of analysis.