Departing from an inductive, grounded theory-based field study in an OSS community called TYPO3, this paper investigates how community growth is addressed. It adopts an organizational life cycle perspective and focuses on intraorganizational conditions. Three major types of consequences of growth are generated: (i) weakness in integration of activities and tasks (leading to leadership crisis), (ii) inadequacies in communication among community contributors and subgroups (leading to coordination crisis), and (iii) tension between autonomous contributors and formal authority (leading to authority crisis). Furthermore, the results suggest that TYPO3 overcomes these consequences owing to three closely related mechanisms: (i) coordination of project-related activities and tasks, (ii) member retention measures, and (iii) the structuring that emerged in the process of the project's adjustment to growth. Finally, TYPO3 development is characterized by a progress from informality and creativity through formalization and further to adaptability and flexibility.
Regering; Livscyklus; Open source software development; Governance; Life-cycle; Organizational growth
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2008 Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, 2008