TUTORIAL: A Tutorial On Organizational Participation In Open Communities.

Matt Germonprez, University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire
Julie Kendall, Rutgers University
Ken Kendall, Rutgers University
Brian Warner, Linux Foundation


With the growing use of crowd-sourcing, the interaction between self-forming, open communities and traditional organizations is increasing in importance. Existing research has focused on factors affecting an individual's level of participation in open sourced work and on the organization of open source efforts, but scant attention has been paid to the significant strategic organizational involvement in these endeavors (75% of Linux kernel contributions are from paid developers). As design and development evolves within open communities, there are an increasing number of ways that organizations may seek to balance ‘contributions to’ and ‘differentiation from’ an open community, for reasons of cost, resource management, and time to market. Open communities provide real options for organizations seeking to improve systems design, development, and support. This tutorial helps develop a solution to this practical problem in the creation of new pedagogical knowledge. Building on principles of public sharing, collaboration, and organizational learning, this tutorial focuses on why and how organizations participate with open communities. We explore how the open-source environment interacts and merges with traditional organizations. A two-by-two classification scheme is used to present the value chain of participation for organizations that differ in their degree of contributions to a common product and degree of downstream product differentiation. Per the tutorial, a pedagogical framework and curricular materials are presented to improve student understanding about open community participation.