Managing the boundary of an open project

From AcaWiki
Jump to: navigation, search

Citation: Siobhán O'Mahony, Fabrizio Ferraro Managing the boundary of an open project. Market Emergence and Transformation (RSS)
Internet Archive Scholar (search for fulltext): Managing the boundary of an open project
Tagged: Sociology, Organizations, Free and Open Source Software, Internet "Sociology, Organizations, Free and Open Source Software, Internet" is not in the list (Anthropology, Arts and Literarure, Astronomy, Biology, Business, Chemistry, Clinical Research, Computer Science, Economics, Education, ...) of allowed values for the "Subject" property. (RSS)


This paper describes the evolution of the boundary-management process within the Debian Linux community. Drawing on archival, interview, and keyring cryptography network data from the Debian project between 1997-2001, the authors argue that the growth of the community over time has led the community members to negotiate and implement a steadily more and more complex boundary-management process, leading to increasingly formalized organizational boundaries, despite (or perhaps because of?) the project's openness. The authors focus their empirical discussion & analysis on the maintainer keyring within the project, demonstrating how the growth of the keyring has led to network position within the keyring becoming an increasingly important predictor of status/authority within the community as a whole.

Theoretical and Practical Relevance

The paper is one of several Debian-focused publications by these authors and builds on O'Mahony's dissertation and other writings on this topic. It makes a compelling, albeit sometimes tenuous connection between the literature on networked organizations, knowledge production, and online communities. It has not been especially widely-read or cited.\n\n The full text is available through Scientific Commons