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Studies into open source software (OSS) development projects have hitherto focused on the question of why people aremotivated to contribute to these projects, thereby assuming that motivational factors are the same across all types of OSSprojects. In this study we challenge this assumption by investigating the question what motivates developers’ selection of anOSS project depending on the level of license restrictiveness. Hereto we first develop a comprehensive multi-theoreticalmodel of developers’ motivations based on a literature review of foundational theories of motivations from multipledisciplinary backgrounds. Second, through data from 159 surveys, we show that developers’ motivations indeed influence theselection of projects to which they contribute based on license restrictiveness. Drawing upon our findings, we propose atheoretical process model of project selection. This model helps to understand the relations between motivations, projectselection and level of contribution and can be applied in future research.
Osch, Wietske van; Adelaar, Thomas; and Pith, Mark, "So Many Developers, So Many Projects: Toward a Motivation-Based Theory of Project Selection" (2011). AMCIS 2011 Proceedings - All Submissions. 201.