Title: Open to all: a postmodern perspective on product development and brands in an open-source environment

Authors: Leyland F. Pitt, Pierre R. Berthon, Richard T. Watson, Donald Wynn Jr., Arien Strasheim

Addresses: Segal Graduate School of Business, Simon Fraser University, 515 West Hastings St, Vancouver BC, V6B 5K3, Canada. ' McCallum School of Business, Bentley College, 175 Forest St., Waltham 02452, USA. ' Department of MIS, Terry College, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602–6273, USA. ' Department of Management Information Systems, Decision Sciences and Operations Management, University of Dayton, Dayton, OH 45469, USA. ' Bureau of Market Research, University of South Africa, P.O. Box 392, UNISA, 0003, Pretoria, South Africa

Abstract: While open source product development and innovation is not a new phenomenon, it is a prominent form of offering development in the post-industrial age, facilitated by networked communication media. Understanding open source presents challenges to practitioners and academics alike. This article explores the open source phenomenon using themes characterising postmodernism, which is particularly apt to an information-rich context such as open source. The article defines and describes open source and then examines the phenomenon using the postmodern themes of fragmentation, dedifferentiation, time and space interaction, antifoundationalism and the values of paradox, reflexivity, and pastiche. The contention is that postmodernism illuminates thinking concerning open source as a means of invention and production in the information age, just as modernism illuminated thinking in the traditional approaches to physical invention and production in the industrial age.

Keywords: open source; postmodernism; internet; branding; business models; organisation; information intensive; technology marketing; product development; innovation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTMKT.2007.015748

International Journal of Technology Marketing, 2007 Vol.2 No.4, pp.316 - 330

Published online: 12 Nov 2007 *

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