Open source volontaire - les effets de l'appropriabilité, de l'externalité et de l'incertitude

Translated title of the contribution: Voluntary open-source - the effect of appropriability, externality, and uncertainty

Liye Ma, Pei-yu Chen, Tridas Mukhopadhyay

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Over the past decade, many profit-seeking technology firms voluntarily made their proprietary software open-source. In this paper, we study firm's motivation of such voluntary open-source and its implications. Through analyzing the tradeoff between supply-side externality and demand-side appropriability, we identify the conditions under which firms will voluntarily open source. Our result highlights the importance of supply-side benefit in open-source decisions. We also find that though open-source increases product quality, it may surprisingly reduce social welfare because of over-investment in product quality. The role of loss of quality control is also investigated, where we show that cost concern may limit a firm's incentive to open source. Finally, different firms' incentives to open source in competition are contrasted. We find that one firm's open-source encourages the other to follow, yet both firms could make lower profit in equilibrium. Our work deepens our understanding of this nascent phenomenon and offers advices to practitioners.

Translated title of the contributionVoluntary open-source - the effect of appropriability, externality, and uncertainty
Original languageFrench
Title of host publicationICIS 2008 Proceedings - Twenty Ninth International Conference on Information Systems
StatePublished - 2008
Externally publishedYes
Event29th International Conference on Information Systems, ICIS 2008 - Paris, France
Duration: Dec 14 2008Dec 17 2008




  • Appropriability
  • Competition
  • Open-source
  • Quality
  • Supply-side externality
  • Uncertainty

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems


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