Rallying competencies in virtual communities: A study of core processes and user interest in open source software projects
Managing work practices has become one of the key challenges facing virtual communities. This paper seeks to broaden the research on virtual communities by applying the theory of competency rallying (TCR) in a longitudinal manner to examine the impact of task identification, task assignment, task execution and task management on user interest in open source software (OSS) projects defined by popularity and communication. The aim of this paper is: (1) re-conceptualizing the concept of user interest and broadening our understanding of user interest by incorporating users' post-usage behaviors, (2) examining the effect of various tasks involved in an OSS project's key processes of defect-fixing and feature-enhancement on user interest. The current study found that project popularity is positively influenced by task assignment, task execution and task management. Additionally, user communication was found to be positively impacted by task identification and task execution. The data collected from 1178 OSS projects in a longitudinal manner (at 3 time points over a period of 16 months) confirmed the expectations from TCR and also demonstrated that over time the effects that development of competencies and managing short term cooperative work have on project success might increase, while the impact of identifying market needs and marshalling competencies may not significantly change.
Information and Organization
Information Systems Management