Author ORCID Identifier

Date of Award

Spring 3-19-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)



First Advisor

Dr.Yusen Xia

Second Advisor

Dr. G. Peter Zhang

Third Advisor

Dr. Ling Xue


The collaborative effort of software developers around the world produces Open Source Software (OSS) products, and most importantly, the source code of the software product is shared publicly. A recent survey of 1300 IT professionals by Black Duck Software showed that the percentage of companies using open source software grew from 42% to 78% between 2010 and 2015. There has been a significant increase in the formation of self-organizing virtual teams to produce open source software products and services. The current literature does not address the factors affecting the success of open source projects through the lens of self-organizing virtual teams and the sentiment among the developers and the sentiment among software developers. This phenomenon suggests a need to understand how successful project teams are created in a virtual collaborative environment.

This research investigates how successful virtual teams are formed through the influence of an online developer community. The focus of this research is to assess how the online developer community, Stack Overflow (SO), influences the success of open source projects. More precisely, the study empirically tests the influence of the SO community on successful Github (GH) projects. The investigation also empirically examines how the ties among the software developers in the SO community initiate the self-creation of OSS project teams. The research also explores the perception of the developers about open source projects. Furthermore, the study probes the impact of OSS artifacts, namely “feature” and “patch” requests, on open source projects.

The findings indicate that the perception of the developers in the SO community, prior ties among the developers in the community, and the artifact type of the project are the factors that influence the success of OSS projects. The research discusses the implications of the outcomes concerning self-organizing open source project teams.


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