A growing number of firms are developing open-source software (OSS) projects to get external contributions from developers unaffiliated with them. We investigate the impact of external contributions to a firm’s OSS projects on its performance measured by Tobin’s q and how the amount of comment activities within the firm’s OSS projects moderates this effect. Using a panel of 536 publicly listed firms over 2011-2019, we find that external contributions to a firm’s OSS projects have a positive impact on the Tobin’s q value of the firm. Moreover, this performance effect is strengthened when there are more comment activities within the firm’s OSS projects. Our study contributes to the literature and generates managerial implications for firms and OSS communities.
Hu, Jin; Hu, Daning; Yang, Xuan; and Chau, Michael, "CAN FIRMS IMPROVE PERFORMANCE THROUGH EXTERNAL CONTRIBUTIONS TO THEIR OPEN-SOURCE SOFTWARE PROJECTS?" (2023). ECIS 2023 Research-in-Progress Papers. 57.