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Comparing the effects of indirect reciprocity and division of labor across OSS communities
Contributions (04.11.2019)
Förderjahr 2018 / Stipendien Call #13 / ProjektID: 3844 / Projekt: Essays on Communities

Our results bear several contributions to theory and practice:

1.1) First, we contribute to the strategy and organization theory literature by showing how founders of OSS projects can solicit contributions by performing one or another way of "giving" behavior in a community. Moreover, we show how some sub-communities can develop efficient division of labor and specialization (that result in community growth) and under what conditions. These results are relevant for practitioners who would like to use communities as complementary assets to their innovation activities. We empirically show how project founders can shift community production in an efficient way that is desirable for firms.

1.2) We also contribute to the crowdsourcing and feedback literature that acknowledges challenges of finding right ways to incentivize contributors to submit novel ideas and continue interacting with community owners.

Overall, our study shows that scholars and managers interested in broader forms of novel forms of organizing (such as OSS, Q&A websites, or crowdsourcing platforms) should re-consider creating novel theories of studying them but rather use existing theories that are applicable to traditional for-profit organizations.

2) Moreover, we provide interesting insights to social network scholars by breaking the general assumption that resources that are being exchanged in networks represent the same kinds. We also acknowledge the nuances of distinguishing between in- and out-degree centrality measures rather than using a simple aggregation at a node level, and study how different the effects can be when one considers them.

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Research contributions Management literature Social networks Practice
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