A number of years ago I wrote my master thesis. However, I never shared the actual results nor the thesis itself on a larger scale. Which is unfortunate as I think the findings of the research might be useful to those interested. The first link is the PDF copy of the paper, and the second is the data collected from the questionnaire.
The findings of my research did get presented as “So Many Developers, So Many Projects: Toward a Motivation-Based Theory of Project Selection” during the 17th Americas Conference on Information Systems 2011 (AMCIS 2011, Proceedings of a meeting held 4-8 August 2011, Detroit, Michigan, USA.). This conference paper provides a summary of the findings as presented in my thesis as well as a separate conclusion.
Below is the abstract of my thesis:
This paper presents the research on the motivation of Open Source developers and the influence of the motivational factors on the choice of license restrictiveness. The research results in a detailed description of Open Source software development, a literature review resulting in an integral framework for theoretical and conceptual model and the questionnaire to measure the conceptual model. The integral framework is an improvement of models used in current literature, and both the conceptual model and questionnaire can be used for future research. The results of the performed survey shows motivational factors held by the developers (control in community, altruism, goals of project, self-marketing and reputation) to be of influence on the choice of license restrictiveness.
Keywords: Open Source, motivation of developers, license restrictiveness, questionnaire
Ajzen, I. (1991). The theory of planned behavior. Organizational behavior and human decision processes (1991) vol. 50 (2) pp. 179-211.
Ajzen, I., & Fishbein, M. (1977). Attitude-behavior relations: A theoretical analysis and review of empirical research. Psychological bulletin (1977) vol. 84 (5) pp. 888-918.
Arnold, J.A., Arad, S., Rhoades, J.A., & Drasgow, F. (2000). The empowering leadership questionnaire: The construction and validation of a new scale for measuring leader behaviors. Journal of Organizational Behavior (2000) vol. 21 (3) pp. 249-269.
Bergquist, M., & Ljungberg, J. (2001). The power of gifts: organizing social relationships in open source communities. Information Systems Journal (2001) vol. 11 (4) pp. 305-320.
Bitzer, J., Schrettl, W., & Schröder, P. (2007). Intrinsic motivation in open source software development. Journal of Comparative Economics (2007) vol. 35 pp. 160-169.
Bonaccorsi, A., Rossi, C., da Vinci, P., & della Liberta, P. (2003). Licensing Schemes in the Production and Distribution of Open Source Software: An Empirical Investigation. Working paper available at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=432641 .
Bonaccorsi, A., & Rossi, C. (2006). Comparing motivations of individual programmers and firms to take part in the open source movement: From community to business. Knowledge, Technology, and Policy (2006) vol. 18 (4) pp. 40-64.
Booth, A.L. (1985). The free rider problem and a social custom model of trade union membership. The Quarterly Journal of Economics (1985) vol. 1 pp. 253-261.
Calazo, J., & Fang, Y. (2009). Impact of License Choice on Open Source Software Development Activity. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology (2009) vol. 60 (5) pp. 997-1011.
Clary, E., Snyder, M., Ridge, R., Copeland, J., Stukas, A., Haugen, J., & Miene, P. (1998) Understanding and Assessing the Motivations of Volunteers: A Functional Approach. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (1998) vol. 74 pp. 1516-1530.
Cohen, J. (1992). Statistical Power Analysis. Psychological Science (1992) vol. 1 (3) pp. 98-101.
Cox, D., & Soldo, B. (2004). Motivation for Money and Care that Adult Children Provide for Parents: Evidence from ‘Point-Blank’ Survey Questions. Working paper available at http://escholarship.bc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1010&context=retirement_papers .
Edwards. K. (2001). Open Source Software Development – When Free-Riding is not an Option. Working paper available at http://edwards.dk/OSS_Free_Riding.pdf .
Eisenhardt, K.M. (1989) Agency theory: An assessment and review. The Academy of Management Review (1989) vol. 14 (1) pp. 57-74.
Fershtman, C., & Gandal, N. (2007). Open source software: Motivation and restrictive licensing. International Economics and Economic Policy (2007) vol. 4 pp. 209-225.
Ganesan, S., & Weitz, B.A. (1996). The impact of staffing policies on retail buyer job attitudes and behaviors. Journal of Retailing (1996) vol. 72 (1) pp. 31-56.
Ghosh, R., Glott, R., Krieger, B., & Robles, G. (2002). Free/libre and open source software: Survey and study. Part 4: Survey of Developers. Available at http://www.infonomics.nl/FLOSS/report/ .
Hars, A., & Ou, S. (2002). Working for free? Motivations for participating in open-source projects. International Journal of Electronic Commerce (2002) vol. 6 (3) pp. 25-39.
Haruvy, E., Prasad, A., & Sethi, S.P. (2003). Harvesting altruism in open-source software development. Journal of Optimization Theory and Applications (2003) vol. 118 (2) pp. 381-416.
Hertel, G., Niedner, S., & Herrmann, S. (2003). Motivation of software developers in Open Source projects: an Internet-based survey of contributors to the Linux kernel. Research Policy (2003) vol. 32 (7) pp. 1159-1177.
House, R.J. (1971). A path goal theory of leader effectiveness. Administrative science quarterly (1971) vol. 16 (3) pp. 321-339.
Jarvenpaa, S., Knoll, K., & Leidner, D. (1998). Is Anybody Out There?: Antecedents of Trust in Global Virtual Teams. Journal of Management Information Systems (1998) vol. 14 (4) pp. 29-64.
Kaminski, H., & Perry, M. (2007). Open Source Software Licensing Patterns. Proceedings of Sixth Latin American Conference on Pattern Languages of Programming (2007).
Klandermans, B., & Oegema, D. (1987). Potentials, networks, motivations, and barriers: Steps towards participation in social movements. American Sociological Review (1987) vol. 52 (4) pp. 519-531.
Kohli, A.K., & Jaworski, B.J. (1994). The Influence of Coworker Feedback on Salespeople. Journal of Marketing (1994) vol. 58 (October) pp. 82-94.
Koski, H. (2005). OSS production and licensing strategies of software firms. Review of Economic Research on Copyright Issues (2005) vol. 2 (2) pp. 111-125.
Krishnamurthy, S. (2003). A managerial overview of open source software. Business Horizons (2003) September-October pp. 47-56.
Lakhani, K., & Von Hippel, E. (2003). How open source software works: ―free‖ user-to-user assistance. Research Policy (2003) vol. 32 (6) pp. 923-943.
Lakhani, K., & Wolf, R. (2003). Why hackers do what they do: Understanding motivation and effort in free/open source software projects. Working paper available at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=443040 .
Leavitt, C., & Walton, J. (1975). Development of a scale for innovativeness. Advances in consumer research (1975) vol. 2 (1) pp. 545-554.
Lerner, J., & Tirole, J. (2002). Some simple economics of open source. Journal of Industrial Economics (2002) vol. 50 (2) pp. 197-234.
Lerner, J., & Tirole, J. (2005a). The economics of technology sharing: open source and beyond a. Journal of Economic Perspectives (2005) vol. 19 (2) pp. 99-120.
Lerner, J., & Tirole, J. (2005b). The scope of open source licensing. Journal of Law (2005) vol. 21 (1) pp. 20-56.
Li, Y., Tan, C., Teo, H., & Mattar, A. (2006). Motivating open source software developers: influence of transformational and transactional leaderships. Proceedings of the 2006 ACM SIGMIS CPR conference on computer personnel research: Forty four years of computer personnel research: achievements, challenges & the future (2006).
Locke, E.A., & Latham, G.P. (1990). Work Motivation and Satisfaction: Light at the End of the Tunnel. Psychological Science (1990) vol. 1 (4) pp. 240-246.
Maslow, A. (1954). Motivation and personality. Harper, New York, USA.
McKusick, M. (1999). Twenty years of Berkeley Unix: From AT&T-owned to freely redistributable. Open sources: voices from the open source revolution. O’Reilly Media. Sebastopol, USA.
Meyerson, D., Weick, K., & Kramer, R. (1996) Swift trust and temporary groups. In Kramer, R., & Tyler, T. (1996) Trust in organizations: frontiers of theory and research. pp. 166-195, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.
Miner, J.B. (2005). Organizational Behavior I: Essential Theories Of Motivation And Leadership. M.E. Sharpe, Armonk, USA.
Misje, A., Bosnes, V., Gasdal, O., & Heier, H. (2005). Motivation, recruitment and retention of voluntary non-remunerated blood donors: a survey-based questionnaire study. Vox sanguinis (2005) vol. 89 (4) pp. 236-244.
Mowday, R.T., Steers, R.M., & Porter, L.W. (1979). The measurement of organizational commitment. Journal of Vocational Behavior (1979) vol. 14 (2) pp. 224-247.
Ngwenyama, O.K., & Bryson, N. (1999). Making the information systems outsourcing decision: A transaction cost approach to analyzing outsourcing decision problems. European Journal of Operational Research (1999) (115) pp. 351-367.
Onetti, A., & Capobianco, F. (2005) Open source and business model innovation. the Funambol case. Proceedings of First International Conference on Open Source systems. (2005)
Osterloh, M., Rota, S., & von Wartburg, M. (2001). Open source-New rules in software development. Working paper available at http://www.iou.uzh.ch/orga/downloads/OpenSourceAoM.pdf .
Pelletier, L., Fortier, M., Vallerand, R., Tuson, K., Briere, N., & Blais, M. (1995). Toward a new measure of intrinsic motivation, extrinsic motivation, and amotivation in sports: The Sport Motivation Scale (SMS). Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology (1995) vol. 17 pp. 35-35.
Perens, B. (1999). The open source definition. Open sources: voices from the open source revolution. O’Reilly Media. Sebastopol, USA.
Raymond, E.S. (1999). The Cathedral and the Bazaar. Essay available at http://www.tuxedo.org/~esr/ .
Ryan, R.M., & Deci, E.L. (2000). Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivations: Classic Definitions and New Directions. Contemporary Educational Psychology (2000) vol. 25 (1) pp. 54-67.
Schoen, C., Davis, K., DesRoches, C., Donelan, K., & Blendon, R. (2000). Health insurance markets and income inequality: findings from an international health policy survey. Health Policy (2000) vol. 51 (2) pp. 67-85.
Shah, S. (2005). Motivation, governance & the viability of hybrid forms in open source software development. Working paper available at http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=898247 .
Simon, B., Loewy, M., Stürmer, S., Weber, U., & Freytag, P. (1998). Collective identification and social movement participation. Journal of personality and social psychology (1998) vol. 74 (3) pp. 646-658.
Stallman, R. (1999). The GNU operating system and the free software movement. Open sources: voices from the open source revolution. O’Reilly Media. Sebastopol, USA.
Von Krogh, G., & Von Hippel, E. (2003). Special issue on open source software development. Research Policy (2003) vol. 32 pp. 1149-1157.
Von Krogh, G., Spaeth, S., & Lakhani, K. (2003). Community, joining, and specialization in open source software innovation: a case study. Research Policy (2003) vol. 32 (7) pp. 1217-1241.
Wang, T., Wu, L., & Lin, Z. (2005). The revival of Mozilla in the browser war against Internet Explorer. Proceedings of the 7th international conference on Electronic commerce (2005).
Weber, S. (2000) The political economy of open source software. Working paper available at http://repositories.cdlib.org/brie/BRIEWP140 .
West, J., & Gallagher, S. (2006). Challenges of open innovation: the paradox of firm investment in open-source software. R&D Management (2006) vol. 36 (3) pp. 319-331.
Wilson, J. (2000) Volunteering. Annual Review of Sociology (2000) (26) pp. 215-240.
Wu, C.G., Gerlach, J.H., & Young, C.E. (2007). An empirical analysis of open source software developers’ motivations and continuance intentions. Information & Management (2007) vol. 44 pp. 253-262.
Ye, Y., & Kishida, K. (2003). Toward an understanding of the motivation of open source software developers. Proceedings of 25th International Conference on Software Engineering (2003).