Coordination in OSS 2.0: ANT Approach

Sangseok You, Kevin Crowston, Jeffrey Saltz, Yatish Hegde

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review


Open source software projects are increasingly driven by a combination of independent and professional developers, the former volunteers and the later hired by a company to contribute to the project to support commercial product development. This mix of developers has been referred to as OSS 2.0. However, we do not fully understand the multi-layered coordination spanning individuals, teams, and organizations. Using Actor-Network Theory (ANT), we describe how coordination and power dynamics unfold among developers and how different tools and artifacts both display activities and mediate coordination efforts. Internal communication within an organization was reported to cause broken links in the community, duplication of work, and political tensions. ANT shows how tools and code can exercise agency and alter a software development process as an equivalently active actor of the scene. We discuss the theoretical and practical implications of the changing nature of open source software development.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 52nd Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences
StatePublished - 2019


  • actor-network theory, free/libre open source, Stigmergy


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