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Abstract

As a new phenomenon in the software industry, Open Source Software (OSS) development has attracted a high level of research interest. Examining what motivates participants in OSS projects and how to enhance the effects of motivations has received increased attention in recent years. This study is prompted by the significant but detail-lacking examination of differential effects of various types of extrinsic motivations on participants’ task effort in OSS projects and their interaction effects with participants’ psychological states. Drawing upon self-determination theory, we establish four types of extrinsic motivations in OSS communities (i.e., external, introjected, identified, and integrated motivation) and investigate how these types affect task effort differently. Also, integrating self-determination theory with affective event theory, we study how satisfaction of needs for competence, autonomy, and relatedness moderates the relationships between extrinsic motivations and task effort. The research model is largely supported by data from 250 participants in various OSS projects. Theoretical contribution and practical implications are discussed.

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