Carrots and Rainbows: An Empirical Comparison of Motivations of Open Source Software Contributors.

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    • Abstract:
      Open source software (OSS) communities have been witnessing growing commercial interests with increased corporate involvement in the recent years with acquisitions of major OSS platforms such as Red Hat and GitHub. Researchers have studied a wide variety of motivations behind individuals' participation in OSS communities. In this study, we build upon the framework, rooted in self-deterministic and social practice theories, proposed by von Krogh et al. (2012) and develop a model of OSS contribution likelihood. We empirically validate the model with a large dataset from 2017 GitHub Open Source Survey that includes over 5,500 randomly selected OSS developers. Results indicate that short-term and/or tangible motivations (carrots) and long-term, value-based factors (rainbows) influence OSS developers' contribution likelihood. However, carrots are relatively more important. Further, we find that as internal self-efficacy increases, effect of OSS hiring behind contribution to OSS decreases. Our research contributes to theory and practice. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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