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Start Date

16-8-2018 12:00 AM

Description

The understanding of free and open source software projects (FSP) will not be complete before all the people, directly or indirectly, involved in and affected by their activities, products and services are known and accounted for in the decisions and studies of these projects. Our theoretical knowledge of FSP will only be able to be considered satisfactory when all these parties (stakeholders) have their roles, interests, motivations and influences on strategic, tactical or operational changes properly discussed. Going against the interests of a stakeholder should not happen by negligence, and management controls of eventual damages must be properly implemented seeking the sustainability of the project. \ \ The success of the FSP depends, though insufficiently, on a balance in meeting the demands and interests, often conflicting, of those involved in its activities. It is necessary to recognize who all the parties involved in FSP are to managerially act more effectively, contingently considering who matters the most and when in the solution of an organizational problem. Basically, all relevant managerial decision changes the organizational capacity to meet the preferences and interests of those involved. Thus, understanding who can specifically be affected helps when defining how and why of making a certain decision. Disregarding a relevant stakeholder can bring undesirable and unplanned side effects, in the short or long term. \ \ Academically, on the one hand, there is the free and open source software literature, which extensively discusses the motivations of contributors, particularly the volunteers (e.g., Stewart & Gosain 2006; Bagozzi & Dholakia 2006; Roberts et al. 2006), and often recognizes the importance of the users of the projects applications (Santos et al. 2013; Ye & Kishida 2003). On the other hand, there are articles that discuss the increasingly significant role of the companies in free and open source software projects (Fitzgerald 2006; Santos Jr. 2008), considered before strictly developed by hackers and volunteers (Ye & Kishida 2003). These articles show a clear focus on the groups directly involved with the development, the use or the financing of FSP, excluding from the analyses the indirectly related parties that can affect the future of the project. This makes our scientific understanding of these ecosystems built around the free applications partial and limited. \ \ It is known, based on the literature called the stakeholder theory, that modern organizations depend and have their performances influenced by several stakeholders only indirectly involved in productive or financial activities (Freeman 1984; Donaldson & Preston 1995). Among the most prominent of these stakeholders are their suppliers, competitors and auditors, as the Controladoria Geral da União (CGU), which verifies the results and internal procedures of the Software Público Brasileiro (SPB), for example, affecting its legitimacy and sustainability. It is also known, based on the organizational resource dependence theory, that organizations have their performances influenced by external stakeholders that control the resources on which they depend to survive and thrive (Pfeffer & Salancik 2003).

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Aug 16th, 12:00 AM

WHOSE STAKE IN OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE PROJECTS

The understanding of free and open source software projects (FSP) will not be complete before all the people, directly or indirectly, involved in and affected by their activities, products and services are known and accounted for in the decisions and studies of these projects. Our theoretical knowledge of FSP will only be able to be considered satisfactory when all these parties (stakeholders) have their roles, interests, motivations and influences on strategic, tactical or operational changes properly discussed. Going against the interests of a stakeholder should not happen by negligence, and management controls of eventual damages must be properly implemented seeking the sustainability of the project. \ \ The success of the FSP depends, though insufficiently, on a balance in meeting the demands and interests, often conflicting, of those involved in its activities. It is necessary to recognize who all the parties involved in FSP are to managerially act more effectively, contingently considering who matters the most and when in the solution of an organizational problem. Basically, all relevant managerial decision changes the organizational capacity to meet the preferences and interests of those involved. Thus, understanding who can specifically be affected helps when defining how and why of making a certain decision. Disregarding a relevant stakeholder can bring undesirable and unplanned side effects, in the short or long term. \ \ Academically, on the one hand, there is the free and open source software literature, which extensively discusses the motivations of contributors, particularly the volunteers (e.g., Stewart & Gosain 2006; Bagozzi & Dholakia 2006; Roberts et al. 2006), and often recognizes the importance of the users of the projects applications (Santos et al. 2013; Ye & Kishida 2003). On the other hand, there are articles that discuss the increasingly significant role of the companies in free and open source software projects (Fitzgerald 2006; Santos Jr. 2008), considered before strictly developed by hackers and volunteers (Ye & Kishida 2003). These articles show a clear focus on the groups directly involved with the development, the use or the financing of FSP, excluding from the analyses the indirectly related parties that can affect the future of the project. This makes our scientific understanding of these ecosystems built around the free applications partial and limited. \ \ It is known, based on the literature called the stakeholder theory, that modern organizations depend and have their performances influenced by several stakeholders only indirectly involved in productive or financial activities (Freeman 1984; Donaldson & Preston 1995). Among the most prominent of these stakeholders are their suppliers, competitors and auditors, as the Controladoria Geral da União (CGU), which verifies the results and internal procedures of the Software Público Brasileiro (SPB), for example, affecting its legitimacy and sustainability. It is also known, based on the organizational resource dependence theory, that organizations have their performances influenced by external stakeholders that control the resources on which they depend to survive and thrive (Pfeffer & Salancik 2003).