Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computer Information Systems

First Advisor

Likoebe M. Maruping

Second Advisor

Lars Mathiassen

Third Advisor

Ling Xue

Fourth Advisor

Sherae L. Daniel


With the rise of corporate-sponsored open-source software (OSS) projects in the software industry, open-source enterprise systems (OS-ES) have become essential alternatives for small businesses to adopt and use the advanced business software packages. With a longitudinal study of a mature, collectively developed open source software project, we examine how corporate-communal engagement affects OS-ES performance through the theoretical perspective of group faultlines. Further, we propose that various release types can moderate the relationship between corporate-communal engagement and OS-ES release performance. Using ordinary least squares (OLS) regression with a final data set consisting of 124 data points (i.e., releases periods), we find that the relationship between corporate-communal engagement and OS-ES release performance is best characterized as a curvilinear relationship (U-shape relationship). That is, the evenness of corporate-communal engagement results in a reduced OS-ES release performance, and the unevenness of corporate-communal engagement can increase the OS-ES release performance in the forms of improved quality and innovativeness. Moreover, this curvilinear relationship is likely to be weaker in consolidating releases than in expanding releases. We find that our propositions are supported by the data. This dissertation provides various theoretical and practical contributions. Theoretically, we advance a theoretical framework to understand the effects and outcomes of corporate-communal engagement and release type contingencies by applying group faultlines theory to explain our research model. Further, we propose an alternative perspective on understanding software releases by distinguishing OS-ES releases into consolidating and expanding releases. Practically, this study provides suggestions and insights for corporate managers, open-source leaders, and small businesses to better engage in OS-ES development and adopt proper OS-ES products.


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