Ripped shamelessly from Stefan Hafliger’s blog :>>:
Have a look at our latest working paper.
Knowledge reuse is fundamental to innovation in many fields, including software development. To date, there is no systematic investigation of knowledge reuse in open source software projects. This paper attempts to fill this gap. The focus lies on the practice of knowledge reuse which consists of the inventory, the incidents and the intensity of knowledge reuse. The study inductively develops an theory based on uantitative and qualitative data drawn from a sample of six open source software projects. We find that knowledge reuse is extensive across the sample and that developers shift their creative effort over time, from reusing software more than writing, to writing more than reusing. Implications for research and management practice are discussed.