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.
International Journal of Technology Intelligence and Planning, 2016 Vol.11 No.2, pp.117 - 139
Received: 25 Feb 2015
Accepted: 12 Sep 2015
Published online: 22 Jun 2016 *