Organising the digital commons: a case study on engagement strategies in open source
Beyza Oba, is a professor of Organization Studies in İstanbul Bilgi University, Faculty of Business Administration. She teaches Strategic Management, Innovation Management, Organization Theory at graduate and undergraduate level. She published journal articles and book chapters on critical management studies, corporate governance and trust. Her current research interests are open innovation, crowdfunding and gender diversity.
In this study we develop a conceptual framework for understanding the co-evolution of a virtual community and a hybrid governance regime. The research site is the Eclipse software development community led by IBM and based on data collected from activities of community members as well as secondary sources, we examine the attempts of participants to construct and reﬁne a hybrid governance structure while developing and expanding the community. Drawing on strategy-as-practice approach and institutional theory, we bring arguments at two instances of this co-evolution process: the initiation and enactment. For the initiation of the community we argue that, beyond market-driven considerations, tensions and polarisation in the existing proprietary regimes, governance structures, and philosophies promote new practices. For the establishment process we emphasise the role of member-driven horizontal and vertical structural adjustments, and the maintenance of open-source developer spirit.