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Title: Knowledge sharing in virtual organisations : the case of open source software communities
Author: Iskoujina, Zilia
ISNI:       0000 0004 2689 1526
Awarding Body: Durham University
Current Institution: Durham University
Date of Award: 2010
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The knowledge-based economy, where everything and everybody is just one click away, has formed the foundation for a new organisational form. The term ‘virtual organisation’ (VO) reflects the emergence of a new organisational form with a record of success in the modern business environment, where knowledge has become a key component. Managing knowledge is the main driver in the knowledge-based economy. One of the best examples of such organisational forms with successful knowledge sharing processes is open source software (OSS) communities. This justifies my thesis, which undertakes primary research in OSS communities via qualitative and quantitative studies to find out how and to what extent knowledge is shared in those communities, in order to develop a Model for successful knowledge sharing processes in the VOs. The following factors in the Model, which influence the level of personal contribution in the OSS communities, were found. The level of personal contribution as an indicator to knowledge sharing for product innovation is a result of a combination of individual factors as well as individual opinion on the organisational factors. Factors such as an education level/explicit knowledge, incentives/benefits for the future and monetary reward do not play a role on their own, but they influence the level of roles and the level of activeness, which in turn influence the level of knowledge sharing, which is important for the level of personal contribution on product innovation. Personal and work related motivations are important factors to successful knowledge sharing inside OSS communities. However, most importantly, the level of personal contribution towards product innovation is a result of the satisfaction of individuals by the management of the OSS communities, identification with these communities and trust inside of these communities. The developed Model shows that organisational factors are more important than individual factors for successful knowledge sharing inside OSS communities from an individual’s perspective.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available