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Project Title

Comparative Advantages of the Varying Mixtures of participant types and organizational structures seen across OSS projects


Dr.Steven S. Wildman, Michigan State University

B. Sang Yup Lee, Michigan State University

C. Sonya Yan Song, Michigan State University

Project Abstract

We will employ the SourceForge data as part of a larger project that explores the factors contributing to the use of alternative organizational forms to produce different types of products and services. We are particularly interested in: variation in the mix of for-profit and nonprofit sponsorship of projects, differential reliance on volunteer and paid labor, and different approaches to project leadership. The heterogeneity of open source software (OSS) development teams ranging from purely voluntary to purely sponsored with a spectrum of hybrids in between makes the SourceForge database particularly attractive for this study. Special attention will be paid to the motivations behind participation, leadership, and sponsorship, in order to sort out comparative advantages of the varying mixtures of participant types and organizational structures seen across OSS projects.