Title: Investigating open source software creators through the lens of an entrepreneur

Authors: Richard G. Mathieu; Jeffrey L. May; Harry L. Reif

Addresses: McColl School of Business, Queens University in Charlotte, USA ' College of Business, James Madison University, USA ' College of Business, James Madison University, USA

Abstract: The purpose of our research is to explore the characteristics of the creators of open source software (OSS) and to determine if there is a connection between OSS creators and entrepreneurs. We begin with a review of the literature on OSS and entrepreneurship, and then develop a conceptual model that seeks to define what it means to be an entrepreneur. We use the conceptual model as a lens to examine if OSS creators can be classified as entrepreneurs via an exploratory multiple-case research approach based on OSSprojects found in the SourceForge repository. Our study establishes an association between the characteristics of an OSS creator and an entrepreneur.

Keywords: innovation; case study; open source software; OSS developers; open innovation; software development; entrepreneurs; entrepreneurship; conceptual modelling; entrepreneurial characteristics.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIL.2017.080750

International Journal of Innovation and Learning, 2017 Vol.21 No.1, pp.1 - 20

Received: 09 Mar 2015
Accepted: 04 Jun 2015

Published online: 06 Dec 2016 *

Full-text access for editors Full-text access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article