Int. J. of Technology Intelligence and Planning   »   2016 Vol.11, No.2

 

 

Title: Mechanisms of knowledge sharing in open source software projects: a comparison of Chinese and Western practice

 

Authors: Xiaohong Chen; David Probert; Yuan Zhou; Jun Su

 

Addresses:
School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
Institute for Manufacturing, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB3 0FS, UK
School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
School of Public Policy and Management, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China

 

Abstract: This paper aims to analyse the key factors influencing knowledge sharing in open source software (OSS) projects. Four deep cases are analysed to develop a conceptual framework based on within-case and cross-case analysis. In terms of data collection, online (including Skype meeting, email, email-list, internet relay chat (IRC), forum, group meeting, etc.) and offline (mainly with face-to-face discussion) activities are two major platforms. The research framework is that distributed innovation (independent variable) will influence shared knowledge (medium variable) and continue to affect the performance of OSS projects (dependent variable). During distributed innovation, developers located on the supply side will affect the shared knowledge from the aspects of participative motivation, social networks and organisational culture. Meanwhile, users situated on the demand side will function from the view of user innovation. Differences and similarities of China and the West towards OSS Projects are derived from the evidence, and some implications for the Chinese approach are proposed.

 

Keywords: knowledge sharing; open source software; OSS projects; comparative cases; China; the West; data collection, online activities; Skype meetings; emails; internet relay chat; forums; group meetings; offline activities; face-to-face discussion; distributed innovation; participative motivation; social networks; organisational culture; user innovation.

 

DOI: 10.1504/IJTIP.2016.077257

 

Int. J. of Technology Intelligence and Planning, 2016 Vol.11, No.2, pp.117 - 139

 

Submission date: 22 Feb 2015
Date of acceptance: 12 Sep 2015
Available online: 22 Jun 2016

 

 

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