Dissertation Information for Hala Annabi
MPACT Status: Fully Complete
Title: Moving from individual contribution to group learning: The early years of the Apache Web server
Abstract: Open Source Software (OSS) groups, by their very nature (distributed, often voluntary, and having a potentially large number of submitted bug reports and fixes from outside of the core-development team) experience many benefits and challenges with respect to the core group's effectiveness. In order to capitalize on the benefits and minimize the challenges, OSS groups must learn not only on the individual level, but also on the group level. OSS groups learn by integrating individual contributions into the group's product and processes. This study addressed a gap in the literature by providing an interdisciplinary theoretical framework to explain the process through which distributed groups such as OSS groups learn. The framework used an input-process output-structure that integrated four research areas: organizational learning, shared mental models, group research, and asynchronous learning networks. Input variables included group design (compositions, tasks and formal structure), rules and procedures, and shared mental models. Processes included group maintenance and task management activities through individual contributions. Output variables included: changes in rules and shared mental models, and individual satisfaction and perceived learning.
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