Motivations in Open Source Software Communities: The Mediating Role of Effort Intensity and Goal Commitment

Weiling Ke and Ping Zhang
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 13, Number 4, Summer 2009, pp. 39.

Abstract: As a community-based innovation, the open source software (OSS) development phenomenon has received great attention from researchers and practitioners. Understanding the factors that affect the involvement and contributions of participants in OSS projects is of significance to facilitate project success. This paper investigates the effects of motivation on participant performance in OSS projects, drawing upon self-determination theory to examine how task effort (i.e., effort intensity and goal commitment) mediates the relationships between a spectrum of motivations and individual performance. The research model is supported by survey data from 204 participants in OSS projects. The theoretical contributions and managerial implications are discussed.

Key Words and Phrases
: Motivation, open source software (OSS), performance, task effort.