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The network structure of collaboration for problem-solving: a case study on open source software

The network structure of collaboration for problem-solving: a case study on open source software

Conaldi, Guido and Lomi, Alessandro (2010) The network structure of collaboration for problem-solving: a case study on open source software. In: Proceedings of SunBelt XXX, 2010. International Network for Social Network Analysis, p. 619.

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Abstract

A classic view of organizations is as structured social settings that encourage individuals, problems and solutions to meet and interact. In this view, structural organizational properties emerge from relations of mutual constitution linking individuals (whose identity may be defined in terms of the problems in which they are engaged), and problems (whose identity may be defined in terms of the individuals jointly engaged in them). Solutions are possible outcomes of contingent relations of mutual constitution between specific individuals and specific problems. Against this general backdrop, in this paper we illustrate how recent advancements in the specification and estimation of Exponential Random Graph Models (ERGMs) for 2-mode networks may be adopted to forward our understanding of the properties of organizations as structured social settings. As an empirical illustration of the duality of individuals and problems in organizations we examine the 2-mode network structure induced by collaborative bug-fixing activities in a Free/Open Source Software (F/OSS) project. Using data that we collected on a team of 227 volunteer F/OSS developers, we reconstruct the 2-mode co-collaboration network implied by the matching between developers ('individuals') and software bugs ('problems'). We control for developer-specific and bug-specific characteristics that may also affect developers’ collaboration patterns both exogenously and endogenously. We report estimates of ERGMs with higher-order effects that show influence of local network structures on developer's decision to collaborate. We discuss the implications of our results for theoretical views of organizations as structured chains of opportunities determined by the simultaneous matching of individuals, problems and solutions.

Item Type: Conference Proceedings
Title of Proceedings: Proceedings of SunBelt XXX, 2010
Additional Information: [1] Item presented as as part of the Exponential Random Graphs Section of the XXX Sunbelt Social Networks Conference held in Riva del Garda, Italy from 29 June to 4 July 2010.
Uncontrolled Keywords: ERGM/P, collaboration, organization theory, open source Floss software, affiliation networks
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
Faculty / Department / Research Group: Faculty of Business > Centre for Business Network Analysis
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 14 Oct 2016 09:21
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/8439

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