Perspectives on Free and Open Source Software

Perspectives on Free and Open Source Software

Edited by Joseph Feller, Brian Fitzgerald, Scott A. Hissam and Karim R. Lakhani





What is the status of the Free and Open Source Software (F/OSS) revolution? Has the creation of software that can be freely used, modified, and redistributed transformed industry and society, as some predicted, or is this transformation still a work in progress? Perspectives on Free and Open Source Software brings together leading analysts and researchers to address this question, examining specific aspects of F/OSS in a way that is both scientifically rigorous and highly relevant to real-life managerial and technical concerns.

The book analyzes a number of key topics: the motivation behind F/OSS—why highly skilled software developers devote large amounts of time to the creation of "free" products and services; the objective, empirically grounded evaluation of software—necessary to counter what one chapter author calls the "steamroller" of F/OSS hype; the software engineering processes and tools used in specific projects, including Apache, GNOME, and Mozilla; the economic and business models that reflect the changing relationships between users and firms, technical communities and firms, and between competitors; and legal, cultural, and social issues, including one contribution that suggests parallels between "open code" and "open society" and another that points to the need for understanding the movement's social causes and consequences.


Out of Print ISBN: 9780262062466 570 pp. | 6 in x 9 in 40 illus.


$40.00 X ISBN: 9780262562270 570 pp. | 6 in x 9 in 40 illus.


Joseph Feller

Joseph Feller is Lecturer in Business Information Systems, University College Cork, Ireland.

Brian Fitzgerald

Brian Fitzgerald holds the Frederick A. Krehbiel II Chair in Innovation in Global Business and Technology at the University of Limerick, where he is also Vice President of Research.

Scott A. Hissam

Scott A. Hissam is Senior Member of the Technical Staff, Software Engineering Institute, Carnegie Mellon University.

Karim R. Lakhani

Karim R. Lakhani is Associate Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School.


  • An excellent international and interdisciplinary repository of the latest research and thinking on free and open software movements and practices. With this intellectual miracle, the editors and contributors pave the way to a new open science paradigm.

    Claudio Ciborra

    London School of Economics and IULM, Milan, author of The Labyrinths of Information

  • Perspectives on Free and Open Source Software is the most comprehensive collection of writings on open source software that I have seen. The authors tackle the difficult questions that surround its success from what motivates developers to write software for free to how companies can incorporate the best of the open source model into their environments.

    Martin Fink

    Vice President, Linux Hewlett-Packard

  • This is a carefully written, well-argued book that synthesizes a lot of good original research on the user-centered model of innovation. It makes a significant contribution to our general understanding of the innovation process in an area where our knowledge is especially thin. A thought-provoking and extremely valuable book.

    Carliss Y. Baldwin

    William L. White Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School, coauthor of Design Rules: The Power of Modularity