We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham e-Theses
You are in:

Knowledge Sharing in Virtual Organisations: The Case of Open Source Software Communities

ISKOUJINA, ZILIA (2010) Knowledge Sharing in Virtual Organisations: The Case of Open Source Software Communities. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.



The knowledge-based economy, where everything and everybody is just one click away, has formed the foundation for a new organisational form. The term ‘virtual organisation’ (VO) reflects the emergence of a new organisational form with a record of success in the modern business environment, where knowledge has become a key component. Managing knowledge is the main driver in the knowledge-based economy. One of the best examples of such organisational forms with successful knowledge sharing processes is open source software (OSS) communities. This justifies my thesis, which undertakes primary research in OSS communities via qualitative and quantitative studies to find out how and to what extent knowledge is shared in those communities, in order to develop a Model for successful knowledge sharing processes in the VOs.

The following factors in the Model, which influence the level of personal contribution in the OSS communities, were found. The level of personal contribution as an indicator to knowledge sharing for product innovation is a result of a combination of individual factors as well as individual opinion on the organisational factors. Factors such as an education level/explicit knowledge, incentives/benefits for the future and monetary reward do not play a role on their own, but they influence the level of roles and the level of activeness, which in turn influence the level of knowledge sharing, which is important for the level of personal contribution on product innovation. Personal and work related motivations are important factors to successful knowledge sharing inside OSS communities. However, most importantly, the level of personal contribution towards product innovation is a result of the satisfaction of individuals by the management of the OSS communities, identification with these communities and trust inside of these communities. The developed Model shows that organisational factors are more important than individual factors for successful knowledge sharing inside OSS communities from an individual’s perspective.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Knowledge Sharing, Knowledge Management, Virtual Organisations, Open Source Software Communities, Online Communities, Virtual Communities
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Economics, Finance and Business, School of
Thesis Date:2010
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:23 Sep 2010 15:49

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitter