Open source software projects as virtual organisations: Competency rallying for software development

Kevin G Crowston, B. Scozzi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

136 Scopus citations


This paper contributes to the identification and testing of factors important for the success of open source software (OSS) projects. We present an analysis of OSS communities as virtual organisations, and apply Katzy and Crowston's competency rallying (CR) theory to the case of OSS development projects. CR theory suggests that project participants must develop necessary competencies, identify and understand market opportunities, marshal competencies to meet the opportunity and manage a short-term co-operative process. Using data collected from 7477 OSS projects hosted by the SourceForge system, we formulate and test a set of specific hypotheses derived from CR theory. The empirical data analysis supports the majority of these hypotheses, suggesting that CR theory provides a useful lens for studying OSS projects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-17
Number of pages15
JournalIEE Proceedings: Software
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2002


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Software

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