Systems Analysis and Design


As design and development evolves within open communities, new affordances present new possibilities andorganizations must balance ‘contributions to’ and ‘differentiation from’ the open community for reasons of cost, resourcemanagement, and time to market. Organizational participation in open communities is timely in light of recent analysesby the Linux Foundation indicating that 75% of kernel contributions are by paid developers. In this proposal, we build onprinciples of public sharing and collaboration using the Linux open-source community as our basis for understandingopen communities (Fitzgerald, 2006). The focus of this project is why organizations participate with open communitiesand how they participate with open communities. We apply action research as a methodological approach within which aqualitative field study will be conducted (Chiasson et al., 2009). Action research supports our dual goal of developing asolution to a practical problem which is of value to the people with whom we are working, while at the same timedeveloping theoretical knowledge of value to an academic community involved in research and pedagogy (Mathiassen etal., 2009). We found organizational participation to be primarily derived from the leveraged support, contribution to, anddifferentiation from open communities.