Obstacles for user innovation in an Open Source Software context

In spring 2007 I published a request to complete a survey about user innovation in the WordPress context on this website. At the time I promised to publish the paper on this website as well. It has been finished for a while, but so far I haven’t published it here, but here we go! First, the abstract and below a link to a PDF document with the full text of the thesis.  

AbstractThe objective of this thesis is to describe the factors that cause that users decide tohalt their innovative efforts. On the basis of a literature review a research questionand three propositions are defined. These propositions are empirically testedthrough a survey in the WordPress extension development community. The threepropositions attempt to test whether benefit and cost factors could explain why userinnovators decide to stop their innovative efforts. None of the propositions wereconfirmed by the regression tests. Normally this means that benefit and cost factorsare unimportant in the scope of the user’s decision. However, on the basis of thisresearch this is difficult to say. The author argues in the discussion chapter why hecontinues to belief that benefit and cost factors have a major influence on the user innovator’s decision to discontinue an innovative effort.

 

The main outcome of this research is that this phenomenon cannot be studied withsuch an easy research method and that further qualitative research is needed. Thispaper finishes with a suggestion for further inductive and qualitative case basedresearch. In order to obtain the desired insights into this phenomenon theresearchers need to have an in-depth understanding of the dynamics and nature ofthe user innovator’s perception of costs and benefits in the context of userinnovation in an open source environment. Only when this complex context is understood the factors that cause the user’s decision to stop an innovative effortcan be studied. 

 Here the PDF:

 Obstacles for user innovation in an Open Source Software context    

 This thesis was written as a final assignment for my Master of Science degree in Economics and Business Administration at Copenhagen Business School in Frederiksberg, Denmark. I completed this degree with a major in “Management of Innovation and Business Development.

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