liu.seSearch for publications in DiVA
Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • oxford
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Open Source Vendors’ Business Models
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Industrial Marketing and Industrial Economics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2012 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

It may seem controversial that open-source software (OSS), i.e. software created by voluntary contributions that is available to use, change, and distribute for free, can be utilized for business purposes. Yet, for some firms, commercial OSS software products are the primary source of revenue. In this thesis, these companies are referred to as OSS vendors. Although some OSS vendors have existed for more than thirty years, how they conduct their business has not been extensively studied.

Business models as a concept has been widely used in the information and communications technology (ICT) industry, often when describing firms working with OSS. In that context business models often refer to the offering, i.e. the products the firm offers to its customers and how revenues are collected. However, in academia the business model concept has evolved in a broader sense encompassing several fields and into a rich theoretical field itself.

This thesis aims to further the understanding on how OSS vendors conduct their business, by using a business model framework, which has been constructed from business model and management theories. This framework was used to study OSS vendors to investigate the configurations of their business models. A cross-case analysis of four carefully selected OSS vendors searched for generic patterns in these configurations. Furthermore, the cases were also studied regarding sustainability and profitability.

Two generic business model configurations were found, community immersion and community utilization. OSS vendors found configured according to the community immersion business model are deeply involved with, but also dependent on, the main community project that provides the software for the offering. OSS vendors found configured according to the community utilization business model are not dependent on the OSS project to provide their commercial offerings. Rather, the communities are used in marketing providing brand benefits, a base for recruitment, and in lesser degree functioned as quality assurance.

Two of the four studied companies were found to be profitable and sustainable; one operating according to the community immersion business model and the other according to the community utilization business model. The other two companies studied, observed to operate according to the community utilization business model, did not achieve profitability during the time of the study.

The findings should further the understanding of how profitable OSS vendors’ business models could be configured, and thus provide practitioners with an understanding on how different business model configurations can affect their strategies and overall business.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2012. , 179 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1438
Keyword [en]
Open Source Software, Business Models, Open Source Business Models, Open Source Communities, Software Licensing
National Category
Economics and Business
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-76737ISBN: 978-91-7519-926-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-76737DiVA: diva2:516557
Public defence
2012-04-26, ACAS, Hus A, ingång 15, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2012-04-18 Created: 2012-04-18 Last updated: 2012-04-18Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

Open Source Vendors’ Business Models(9126 kB)2186 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 9126 kBChecksum SHA-512
287487a2b8f084d1cccecf3939a824eed2f76202abf67b31c6c39dfd0b5f5832133bb726a8b1f5ea34de2f6734a8bc5f5177fe1fe246803577f018351e76f4e2
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf
omslag(2818 kB)59 downloads
File information
File name COVER01.pdfFile size 2818 kBChecksum SHA-512
b9ed75b172ade594e9ac96ed48d28d9f0c00b56ac01ab944a072a73ffbcb2f1238878db7f4097c674f5e568d8476f798f9056b7d6518db93ec8dab81be849497
Type coverMimetype application/pdf

Authority records BETA

Rosenfall, Thomas

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Rosenfall, Thomas
By organisation
Industrial Marketing and Industrial EconomicsThe Institute of Technology
Economics and Business

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 2186 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

isbn
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

isbn
urn-nbn
Total: 1482 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • oxford
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf