How do firms make use of open source communities?
Relying on four in-depth case studies of firms involved with open source software, we
investigate how firms make use of open source communities, and how that use is associated
with their business models. Three themes - accessing, aligning and assimilating -
are inductively developed for how the firms relate to the external knowledge created in
the communities. For each theme, we make an argument about the tactics associated with
each theme and their positive and negative consequences. The findings are related to the
literature on the open and distributed nature of innovation, and various theoretical and
managerial implications are discussed.
With permission of Elsevier