Motivations in Open Source Software Communities: The Mediating Role of Effort Intensity and Goal Commitment

Weiling Ke, Ping Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

64 Scopus citations


As a community-based innovation, the open source software (OSS) development phenomenon has received great attention from researchers and practitioners. Understanding the factors that affect the involvement and contributions of participants in OSS projects is of significance to facilitate project success. This paper investigates the effects of motivation on participant performance in OSS projects, drawing upon self-determination theory to examine how task effort (i. e., effort intensity and goal commitment) mediates the relationships between a spectrum of motivations and individual performance. The research model is supported by survey data from 204 participants in OSS projects. The theoretical contributions and managerial implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-66
Number of pages28
JournalInternational Journal of Electronic Commerce
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2009



  • Motivation
  • Open source software (OSS)
  • Performance
  • Task effort

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Economics and Econometrics

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