Munich Personal RePEc Archive

Floss (Free/Libre Open Source Software): A Theme For Cultural Differences Study

Ramanujam, Padmanabha (2007): Floss (Free/Libre Open Source Software): A Theme For Cultural Differences Study.

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Abstract

Geert Hofstede presented statistical evidence purporting to identify intercultural co-operation and its importance for survival in his scholarship work “cultures and organizations”. This article presents a study, which describes how differences in national culture can affect or influence the participation of programmers who produce open source software (OSS). The four important dimensions of national cultures considered by Hofstede model namely Power Distance Index (PDI), Individualism Index (IAV), Masculinity-Feminity Index (MAS) and Uncertainty Avoidance Index (UAI) are selected and correlated with the Geographical Distribution of Developers Index (GDD) for testing the above hypothesis. It is suggested that there exists some correlation between the cultural factors and the demographics of programmers who participate in the open source movement. Finally, the manner in which these cultural factors impinge on the incentives of the programmers who are engaged in open source movement by writing codes for free are also discussed.

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