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Why do episodic volunteers stay in FLOSS communities?
Barcomb, Ann; Stol, Klaas-Jan; Riehle, Dirk; Fitzgerald, Brian
Successful Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) projects incorporate both habitual and infrequent, or episodic, contributors. Using the concept of episodic volunteering (EV) from the general volunteering literature, we derive a model consisting of five key constructs that we hypothesize affect episodic volunteers’ retention in FLOSS communities. To evaluate the model we conducted a survey with over 100 FLOSS episodic volunteers. We observe that three of our model constructs (social norms, satisfaction and community commitment) are all positively associated with volunteers’ intention to remain, while the two other constructs (psychological sense of community and contributor benefit motivations) are not. Furthermore, exploratory clustering on unobserved heterogeneity suggests that there are four distinct categories of volunteers: satisfied, classic, social and obligated. Based on our findings, we offer suggestions for projects to incorporate and manage episodic volunteers, so as to better leverage this type of contributors and potentially improve projects’ sustainability.
Keyword(s): community management; episodic volunteering; open source software; volunteer management
Publication Date:
2019
Type: Conference item
Peer-Reviewed: Yes
Language(s): English
Institution: University of Limerick
Funder(s): Science Foundation Ireland
Citation(s): 41st International Conference on Software Engineering 2019;
https://2019.icse-conferences.org/home
15/SIRG/3293
13/RC/2094
Publisher(s): IEEE Computer Society
First Indexed: 2019-01-18 06:28:47 Last Updated: 2019-01-18 06:28:47