Motivating the contributions: An Open Innovation perspective on what to share as Open Source Software

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Open Source Software (OSS) ecosystems have reshaped the ways how software-intensive firms develop products and deliver value to customers. However, firms still need support for strategic product planning in terms of what to develop internally and what to share as OSS. Existing models accurately capture commoditization in software business, but lack operational support to decide what contribution strategy to employ in terms of what and when to contribute. This study proposes a Contribution Acceptance Process (CAP) model from which firms can adopt contribution strategies that align with product strategies and planning. In a design science influenced case study executed at Sony Mobile, the CAP model was iteratively developed in close collaboration with the firm's practitioners. The CAP model helps classify artifacts according to business impact and control complexity so firms may estimate and plan whether an artifact should be contributed or not. Further, an information meta-model is proposed that helps operationalize the CAP model at the organization. The CAP model provides an operational OI perspective on what firms involved in OSS ecosystems should share, by helping them motivate contributions through the creation of contribution strategies. The goal is to help maximize return on investment and sustain needed influence in OSS ecosystems.


External organisations
  • Blekinge Institute of Technology
  • Sony Mobile Communications AB
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Software Engineering


  • Contribution strategy, Open innovation, Open Source Software, Product planning, Product strategy, Software ecosystem
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-36
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Systems and Software
StatePublished - 2018 Jan 1
Publication categoryResearch