Systèmes d'Information et Management


In this paper we propose that due to the particularities of the Open Source Software (OSS) development process and its perceived "social" connotations, traditional ways of explaining IT adoption are insufficient to understand the case of OSS diffusion. Evidence shows that OSS fails in many cases to displace dominant market leaders even in the case of user's unhappiness with the prevalent solution, while in some others OSS is adopted without a clear advantage. Using a qualitative research approach, we highlight the existence of a new context, in which the adoption of Linux-based OSS platforms by companies is not led only by traditional drivers. User communities and broader social responsibility considerations have been found to exert some degrees of pressure on the IT decision maker. Through the analysis of some significant cases we propose a framework that helps to depict under which conditions significant OSS adoption may unfold.