July 23, 2003

Call for Papers: Management Science Special Issue

Stefan Haefliger writes "Guest Editors Eric von Hippel, Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Georg von Krogh, Institute of Management, University of St. Gallen. Submission deadline: September 1, 2004
Stefan Haefliger writes "Guest Editors Eric von Hippel, Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Georg von Krogh, Institute of Management, University of St. Gallen. Submission deadline: September 1, 2004

Free and open-source software (OSS) and the processes used to develop it are very unusual in a number of ways. Such software is developed by individuals and firms that freely reveal the code that they write, releasing it under licenses that allow others to use it, to modify it as they wish, and distribute their modifications to others. Project management methods used in open source software projects have proven capable of converting the volunteer efforts of users and programmers who come and go as they please into high quality software products - some very large and complex. The efforts of these volunteers are coordinated with the aid of only very simple but powerful collaborative tools. Thousands of such projects exist today, and the code they develop and freely reveal can offer value to many. (Well-known examples are the GNU/Linux computer operating system, Apache server software and the Perl programming language.)

Researchers in the social sciences have become aware of the very interesting characteristics of F/OSS and its development system, and a lively, interdisciplinary research community has sprung up to explore the phenomenon and its implications for management. The aim of this special issue is to provide an appropriate forum for some of the very exciting and high quality research now being done on OSS. The outstanding quality and interdisciplinary scope of Management Science makes it an ideal journal for this purpose.

We wish to encourage authors rooted in multiple disciplines, such as sociology, economics, social psychology, organization behavior, information systems, innovation process research and strategic management to consider submitting their work to this special issue. We welcome both theoretical research and empirical research using quantitative or qualitative methods. All articles should, in line with the editorial policy of Management Science, have clear relevance to management practice.

Below we offer a sample listing of the broad range of OSS-related topics that are appropriate for this special issue.

How do OSS development projects originate and how do they "work?" What are the incentives to contribute to OSS projects? How do volunteers find, join and leave projects? How are the activities distributed among contributors and how is the work of many volunteer contributors coordinated or interlinked? How are resources provided and allocated? What is the nature of leadership in OSS projects?How do OSS practices compare with conventional product development practices with respect to both processes used and outcomes attained - such as relative development cost, performance and quality of software developed. Intellectual property-related issues: What factor impact on the choice of OSS licenses? How effective are the various OSS licensing arrangements? What are lessons from OSS for the protection of digital intellectual property and the intellectual commons more generally? Why do some OSS projects succeed and some fail? What characterizes the competition for talent and expertise between OSS projects, and between OSS projects and proprietary software projects?What are the competitive dynamics introduced to markets by OSS? What are the strategic implications: How do firms compete with or collaborate with the outputs of OSS projects? Do these lessons apply generally across other fields of technological innovation?

Authors should prepare their manuscripts according to Management Science's guidelines for authors. Every submission will be reviewed according to the single-blind review process of Management Science. The anticipated publication date of the special issue will be early 2006.

Papers should be submitted electronically at informs.manuscriptcentral.com. On the first screen of the submission process, authors should select "Special Issue" as their manuscript type and designate Georg von Krogh as the Department Editor. Questions should be directed to:

Professor Georg von Krogh

University of St.Gallen

Institute of Management

Dufourstrasse 48

CH-9010 St.Gallen



Link: opensource.mit.edu


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