Open Source Software can be defined as using OSI certified licenses which allow free use, redistribution, access to the source code and modification and derived works123. Corporate open source activity has substantially increased in recent years4 and will potentially emerge as the dominant form of software development 5. Kubernetes and Docker underpin the cloud6, the Android OS runs on 82% of all smartphones7 and the Linux kernel powers much of the webs infrastructure8. These are Open Source projects with free access to their IP and source code. Snapfix makes extensive use of these three technologies along with many other Open Source projects and services.

The Information Systems and Computer Science consideration of Open Source Software (OSS) has expanded from dealing with individual OSS contributors motives and desires to addressing the commercial aspects of OSS and it’s utility to the organization. Brian Fitzgerald, a director of LERO9 based at the University of Limerick has carried out extensive research on open source and inner sourcing. His 200610 paper dealing with the commercialization of Open Source represents an inflection point and since then, the research on OSS has expanded from a socially embedded focus11, to include more techno rational aspects1213 that provide more prescriptive guidance to organizations wishing to adopt Open Source.

Brian Fitzgerald, director of LERO

The blog posts I’ve written on OSS mainly examine the Social, Ethical, Technical, Economic and Governance aspects of Open Source in order to understand the fundamentals of Open Source Ideology. I’ve also discussed OSS Ideology itself and its importance in Commercial Adoption of OSS. Some of the posts focus on Open Source as a Driver of Innovation through the lens of the Open Source Business Model.

Next: The Free Software Vs Open Source Movement

  1. Ågerfalk, P.J., Fitzgerald, B., 2008. Outsourcing to an Unknown Workforce: Exploring Opensourcing as a Global Sourcing Strategy. MIS Q. 32, 385–409. ↩︎

  2. OSI, 2018. The Open Source Definition | Open Source Initiative [WWW Document]. URL (accessed 12.6.18). ↩︎

  3. Stallman, 1985. Stallman_1985_TheGNUManifesto.pdf [WWW Document]. URL (accessed 12.6.18). ↩︎

  4. Daniel, S.L., Maruping, L.M., Cataldo, M., Herbsleb, J., 2018. The Impact of Ideology Misfit on Open Source Software Communities and Companies. MIS Q. 42, 1069–1096. ↩︎

  5. Singh, P.V., Tan, Y., Mookerjee, V., 2011. Network Effects: The Influence of Structural Capital on Open Source Project Success. MIS Q. 35, 813-A7. ↩︎

  6. Bernstein, D., 2014. Containers and Cloud: From LXC to Docker to Kubernetes. IEEE Cloud Comput. 1, 81–84. ↩︎

  7. Barwise, T.P., Watkins, L., 2018. The evolution of digital dominance: how and why we got to GAFA, in: Moore, M., Tambini, D. (Eds.), Digital Dominance: The Power of Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Apple. Oxford University Press, New York, NY, pp. 21–49. ↩︎

  8. Finley, K., 2016. Linux Took Over the Web. Now, It’s Taking Over the World. Wired. ↩︎

  9. LERO: ↩︎

  10. Fitzgerald, B., 2006. The Transformation of Open Source Software. MIS Q. 30, 587–598. ↩︎

  11. Hippel, E. von, Krogh, G. von, 2003. Open Source Software and the “Private-Collective” Innovation Model: Issues for Organization Science. Organ. Sci. 14, 209–223. ↩︎

  12. Casadesus-Masanell, R., Llanes, G., 2011. Mixed Source. Manag. Sci. 57, 1212–1230. ↩︎

  13. Deodhar, S.J., Saxena, K.B.C., Gupta, R.K., Ruohonen, M., 2012. Strategies for software-based hybrid business models. J. Strateg. Inf. Syst. 21, 274–294. ↩︎