Common values power open source networks

Open Source Software (OSS) Networks gel around common values and beliefs according to new research report.

An MIT discussion forum on Open Source Software (OSS) includes a detailed (73 page) paper, “Free Software: A Case Study of Software Development in a Virtual Organizational Culture”, by Margaret Elliott and Walt Scacchi of the Institute for Software Research at the University of California, Irvine published in April 2003.

The report starts by signalling the amazing growth of Open source software development (OSSD) projects.

It quotes the SourceForge Web site who estimate 500,000+ users with 700 new ones joining every day and a total of 50,000+ projects with 60 new ones added each day.

The report examines how the organizational cultural beliefs and values influence software development processes.

It concludes that the following four beliefs play an major role in giving these OSS networks common purpose and motivation:

  1. Belief in Free Software

  2. Belief in Freedom of Choice

  3. Value in Community

  4. Value in Cooperative Work

The OSS movement provides a wealth of information for those who wish to attain the benefits of basing their teams on more natural principles.

The full report can be downloaded in PDF by clicking here.

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