An empirical analysis of open source software developers’ motivations and continuance intentions.

Wu, Chorng-Guang, Gerlach, James H., and Young, Clifford E.
Information & Management Vol. 44, Issue 3, p. 253-262

We investigated open source software (OSS) developers’ intentions to continue their involvement in future projects. The research goal was to analyze the motivations of OSS developers systematically and identify those factors that influenced their continuation. A work motivation model for OSS developers was proposed and a research model was empirically validated using data from a field survey of 148 OSS participants. The results showed that OSS developers’ feelings of satisfaction and their intentions to continue with OSS development was influenced by both helping behavior and economic incentives and also that adequate motivators existed, though OSS developers did not benefit equally and there was substantial room to improve their experiences as OSS developers.