Floss firms, users and communities: a viable match?

Abstract : The participation of firms in Free/Libre/Open Source Software (FLOSS) communities is growing and is increasingly debated amongst scholars. As [41] explained, FLOSS needs profit and we do not know successfull floss products without firms in their ecosystem, either being via the financial support of foundations (Eclipse, Linux) or the commercial offering of products or services based on specific FLOSS products (SQL, RedHat). Various points of view have been proposed, but most of the time, scholars studied either the implication of firms within a community or the integration of floss into their market strategy, but not both. In this article, we plead for a more structured and global analysis, based on industrial economics tools, and thus starting from the basic conditions of the computer market and of the buyers' competence in software development (the 'dominant user's skill). This conceptual framework helps to distinguish the different roles (understood as 'social roles') firms may play in the FLOSS ecosystem and, specifically the variation in their involvement.
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Nicolas Jullien, Jean-Benoît Zimmermann. Floss firms, users and communities: a viable match?. Journal of innovation economics, De Boeck Supérieur, 2011, 1 (7), pp.31-53. ⟨halshs-00449535⟩

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