Restrictions in open source: A study of team composition and ownership in open source software development projects

Poonacha Medappa*, Shirish C. Srivastava

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Grounding our study in the theories of coordination and network governance, we examine the influence of restricting the main project code access on the likelihood of survival of Free (Libre) and Open Source Software (FLOSS) projects. Furthermore, given the increasing shift of organizations towards adopting the open source development approach, we investigate the changes brought to the coordination mechanisms when FLOSS projects are owned by organizations (as compared to individuals). The results from our analysis of about 6500 FLOSS projects started in early 2014 indicates the presence of a mixed direct influence of proportion of core contributors who have write access to the main project code and the survival of the FLOSS projects. Deeper analysis reveals that this mixed direct effect is due to the moderating influence of the type of ownership (organizational versus individual). Organizational ownership tends to mitigate the influence that code access restrictions have on the survival of the project. Our research advances the understanding on contributor roles, team composition and organizational participation in FLOSS environments. The findings provide researchers and practitioners with insights for designing effective FLOSS project teams that can contribute to the success of such projects.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 39th International Conference on Information Systems
Place of PublicationSan Francisco
PublisherAssociation for Information Systems
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes


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