University of Oulu

Business models and motivation of companies that take part in open source software development projects

Saved in:
Author: Korhonen, Pyry1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Faculty of Science, Department of Information Processing Science, Information Processing Science
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 1 MB)
Pages: 65
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : P. Korhonen, 2013
Publish Date: 2014-01-14
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Warsta, Juhani
Reviewer: Seppänen, Veikko
Warsta, Juhani


The subject matters in this study were open source software development, companies, business models and motivation. The intention of the study was to study profit oriented companies in order to identify and understand their business models and motivation for taking part in open source software development methods. As background research material I used articles available through the Oulu university library. I also interviewed and assessed several actual companies. In one of these companies I had worked in an open source software development project, two of the companies I interviewed face to face in Oulu, two other Finnish companies I e-mail interviewed. I also assessed a very successful foreign company in order to bring contrast to the Finnish companies.

In order to assess the case companies I refined the software business model framework developed by Rajala, Rossi and Tuunainen (2003). I constructed themes under the components of the framework as advised by Hirsjärvi and Hurme in their book “Teemahaastattelu” from 1985. These themes contained some guiding questions that I posed to the interviewees in the case companies and then noted what they had to say about the subject themes and matters.

The results of the study are that there are many kinds of business models that profit oriented firms can utilize in order to gather revenues from open source software development projects. Utilizing these models is also viable for firms of all sizes. Based on the study it is also clear that the easiest business model to pull off is the subscription based open source business model. In order to succeed with open source business models companies need to understand what actors there are on the open source field and how they affect development projects. It is vital for companies to understand what motivations drive these actors in open source development projects and how the companies can generate and benefit from those motivations.

Future work should concentrate on integrating the motivation component to the framework.

see all

Copyright information: © Pyry Korhonen, 2013. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.