Title: Examining the Impact of Adopting Open Source Principles Inside Organisations
Authors: Noel Carroll, Lorraine Morgan and Kieran Conboy, LERO & NUI Galway
Abstract: Open Source software (OSS) has been highly prevalent in both practice and research. Given the value and effectiveness of OSS development to date, practitioners are keen to replicate these practices inside their respective corporations. This application of OSS practices inside the confines of a corporate entity has been coined Inner Source Software (ISS). While ISS presents many benefits, little is known about the opposing tensions that arise as a result of transitioning from a closed to an open software development environment. Such environments are increasingly under pressure to embrace more open and collaborative principles internally, while simultaneously managing operations in a tight and controlled manner. As part of this study, we conducted 20 interviews with international ISS expects across 15 global organisations. We uncover 13 core tensions that arise from the adoption of open principles in closed software practices. Based on these emerging results, we present new insights on the implementation of strategies to overcome competing tensions from openness in software development. We present some recommendations, which also call for fundamentally new research directions.