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Is Open Source Software about Innovation? Collaborations with the Open Source Community and Innovation Performance of Software Entrepreneurial Ventures

Authors

  • Evila Piva,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering at Politecnico di Milano
      Evila Piva, Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, via Lambruschini 4B, 20156 Milano. E-mail: evila.piva@polimi.it.
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  • Francesco Rentocchini,

    1. Department of Economics of University of Trento and the Institute of Innovation and Knowledge Management (INGENIO) at Polytechnic University of Valencia
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  • Cristina Rossi-Lamastra

    1. Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering at Politecnico di Milano
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  • Evila Piva is assistant professor in the Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering at Politecnico di Milano

  • Francesco Rentocchini is research fellow in the Department of Economics of University of Trento and the Institute of Innovation and Knowledge Management (INGENIO) at Polytechnic University of Valencia.

  • Cristina Rossi-Lamastra is assistant professor in the Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering at Politecnico di Milano.

Evila Piva, Department of Management, Economics and Industrial Engineering, Politecnico di Milano, via Lambruschini 4B, 20156 Milano. E-mail: evila.piva@polimi.it.

Abstract

Practitioners generally assert that collaborations with the open source software (OSS) community enable software entrepreneurial ventures to achieve superior innovation performance. Nonetheless, scholars have never tested this assertion. This paper takes a first step toward filling this gap. First, based on the high-tech entrepreneurship literature and the OSS research stream, we illustrate why collaborations with the OSS community should exert a positive effect on entrepreneurial ventures' innovation performance. Then, we provide a rigorous quantitative analysis of the innovation impact of these collaborations. Our econometric estimates indicate that entrepreneurial ventures collaborating with the OSS community exhibit superior innovation performance compared with their noncollaborating peers.

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