Despite a considerable body of literature on factors involved in the Open Source Software (OSS) adoption process, there is little research into concerns of OSS by public sector organisations. So it was important to reassess the factors inhibiting OSS adoption in order to enhance OSS utilization within public sector organisations. This study explored various factors that may inhibit OSS adoption within Australian Public Sector (APS) organisations by interviewing those involved in software procurement. The findings were analysed through the lenses of technology adoption theories (i.e, Diffusion of Innovation (DOI) theory and Technology Acceptance Model (TAM)) and OSS adoption literature. Inhibitors to OSS adoption in APS organisations was contingent upon critical factors such as perceived lack of availability of support and training to sustain long-term usage, economical disadvantages associated with OSS applications such as higher support, maintenance and training costs, lack of product quality, inability to meet organisational business needs, and legal issues with licensing and intellectual property. The findings suggested Rogers’ compatibility and complexity constructs are important factor in OSS adoption.


Open Source Software, Technology adoption theories, Diffusion of Innovation theory, Technology Acceptance Model, Australian Public Sector


ISBN: [978-1-86435-644-1]; Full paper