Coopetition of software firms in open source software ecosystems
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionLecture Notes in Business Information Processing. 2017, 304 146-160. 10.1007/978-3-319-69191-6_10
Software firms participate in an ecosystem as a part of their innovation strategy to extend value creation beyond the firm’s boundary. Participation in an open and independent environment also implies the competition among firms with similar business models and targeted markets. Hence, firms need to consider potential opportunities and challenges upfront. This study explores how software firms interact with others in OSS ecosystems from a coopetition perspective. We performed a quantitative and qualitative analysis of three OSS projects. Finding shows that software firms emphasize the co-creation of common value and partly react to the potential competitiveness on OSS ecosystems. Six themes about coopetition were identified, including spanning gatekeepers, securing communication, open-core sourcing and filtering shared code. Our work contributes to software engineering research with a rich description of coopetition in OSS ecosystems. Moreover, we also come up with several implications for software firms in pursing a harmony participation in OSS ecosystems.