Abstract: As Open Source Software has become nearly ubiquitous, more and more companies have started to open up the code of their products. Even more radical, some of them donated their projects to independent nonprofit foundations, thus giving up control while effectively inviting their competitors to participate. Consequently, these projects are subject to numerous commercial interests. This phenomenon raises some questions: How does such a foundation handle conflicting interests of its members, and how does it protect its own interests while doing so? Moreover, how can the donor of the project make sure that his interests are going to be considered after relinquishing control? The present thesis addresses these questions through an exploratory multiple-case study using grounded theory. By examining four real-world cases, a theory about conflicting interests is developed and practical implications thereof are discussed.
Keywords: Open Stack, Apache, Open Source Foundations
Reference: Florian Weikert. How Open Source Foundations Handle Conflicting Interests in Company-Started Projects. Master Thesis, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg: 2014.