The Protestant ethic strikes back: Open source developers and the ethic of capitalism

Teemu Mikkonen, Tere Vadén, Niklas Vainio


Free/Open Source software development has initiated new models and theories of social organization and immaterial labor in terms of a “hacker” culture. However, our survey of four developer communities shows that there is a continuum of communities from voluntary communities, corresponding to the “hacker” image, to more business-oriented communities deviating from the image. It is particularly noteworthy that old and familiar modes of organization based on waged labor are increasingly a part of developer communities. This may create new dynamics and tensions both inside communities and between the various partners taking part in Free/Open Source software development projects.

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