Tag Archives: publication

Wer innovativ bleiben will, sollte kooperieren

Das ETH Hausjournal ETH Life hat einen kurzen Artikel über unsere Strategic Management Journal Publikation gebracht:

Wer innovativ bleiben will, sollte kooperieren (20 Jul 12)

Schweizer Firmen sind zwar sehr offen für externes Wissen, doch es gibt noch
Potential. Vor allem wenn es darum geht, formell mit Partnern zu
kooperieren. Denn – richtig dosiert – fördert der «Blick über den
Tellerrand» Innovationsgeist und Markterfolg, wie eine Studie von
ETH-Forschern zeigt….

Hier ist der ̀ganze <http://www.ethlife.ethz.ch/archive_articles/120720_offene_innovation_ch>`_

Want a Carrot?

More than 4 years ago we embarked on a journey to examine the Motivation of Open Source developers in a more holistic fashion, considering Open Source as a Social Practice rather than focus on the common intrinsic/extrinsic distinction.

It has been a longer journey than we had planned, but it finally paid off. This June issue of MISQ contains the final article, so it is officially out. If you are interested in Motivation research in OSS communities, read (preprint here), comment, and cite :-):

von Krogh, Georg; Haefliger, Stefan; Spaeth, Sebastian; and Wallin, Martin W.. 2012. “Carrots and Rainbows: Motivation and Social Practice in Open Source Software Development,” MIS Quarterly, (36: 2) pp.649-676

Externe Ideen flexibel sammeln und nutzen


(c)io management 2012

Die aktuelle Ausgabe von io management ist dem Thema “Open Innovation” gewidment. Es enthält einen kurzen Artikel auf deutsch von mir und Georg von Krogh als Einstieg ins Thema Open Innovation. Er ist für Manager geschrieben und stellt open innovation vor und gibt eine kurze Übersicht. Es hat Spass gemacht zur Abwechslung mal einen kurzen Artikel zu schreiben.

Invisible college? Coincidence? Or just ugly

We have just submitted a revised version of an article to Research Policy. Looking at their very latest issue, I noticed it is a special issue on a very related topic to ours. Look at the list of authors in that special issue:

Res. Pol. Volume 41, Issue 7, Pages 1121-1282 (September 2012)

Edited by Jan Fagerberg, Hans Landström and Ben R. Martin

  • Jan Fagerberg, Hans Landström, Ben R. Martin
  • Jan Fagerberg, Morten Fosaas, Koson Sapprasert
  • Hans Landström, Gouya Harirchi, Fredrik Åström
  • Ben R. Martin, Paul Nightingale, Alfredo Yegros-Yegros
  • Samyukta Bhupatiraju, Önder Nomaler, Giorgio Triulzi, Bart Verspagen
  • Ben R. Martin
  • Howard E. Aldrich
  • Tommy Clausen, Jan Fagerberg, Magnus Gulbrandsen
  • Ismael Rafols, Loet Leydesdorff, Alice O’Hare, Paul Nightingale, Andy Stirling

2 out of 9 without direct links to the editors? Excuse me? I know that it is customary (if not strictly clean) to give the guest editors an article slot (besides the editorial). However looking at the list of authors in this special issue, it reeks of a closed small circle dividing up the special issue between themselves. I have no insights into the editorial processes of this very special issue, so things might very well have been proper and nice. But, if not, this is not the way to go about in research. Things like this upset me.

Carrots and Rainbows

Around 4 years ago, we started working on a paper that contained a literature review on individuals motivation to contribute to open source software, concluding that the frameworks being used were too narrow to capture all aspects of what was happening. We concluded that open source software development needs to be seen as a social practice, and created a framework that will allow a more holistic exploration of the interplay of motivations, practices, and institutions supporting (but also constraining and corrupting) OSS. The framework draws on the work on Social Practices by the moral philosopher McIntyre.

We submitted the article to MISQ, and 3 years and four(!) major revisions later, we just got accepted. The editors and reviewers were giving us a hard time, but they also helped to improve the paper significantly as a result of the hard work that was put into it.

May I proudly present:

Carrots and Rainbows: Motivation and Social Practice in Open Source Software Development

by Georg von Krogh, Stefan Haefliger, Sebastian Spaeth, and Martin W. Wallin

The preprint abstract is available online on this website, if you are interested in the full paper, let me know.


Open source software (OSS) is a social and economic phenomenon that raises fundamental questions about the motivations of contributors to information systems development. Some developers are unpaid volunteers who seek to solve their own technical problems, while others create OSS as part of their employment contract. For the past 10 years, a substantial amount of academic work has theorized about and empirically examined developer motivations. We review this work and suggest considering motivation in terms of the values of the social practice in which developers participate.
Based on the social philosophy of Alasdair MacIntyre, we construct a theoretical framework that expands our assumptions about individual motivation to include the idea of a long-term, value-informed quest beyond short-term rewards. This “motivation–practice” framework depicts how the social practice and its supporting institutions mediate between individual motivation and outcome. The framework contains three theoretical conjectures that seek to explain how collectively elaborated standards of excellence prompt developers to produce high-quality software, change
institutions, and sustain OSS development. From the framework we derive six concrete propositions and suggest a new research agenda on motivation in OSS.

UPDATE: And it is finally officially out in this June issue.