Group Maintenance Behaviours of Core and Peripheral Members of Free/Libre Open Source Software Teams

Publication Type:

Conference Proceedings


Proceedings of The Fifth International Conference on Open Source Systems (OSS), Skövde, Sweden, 3-6 June (2009)


FLOSS, Group Maintenance


Group Maintenance is pro-social, discretionary, and relation-building behavior that occurs between members of groups in order to maintain reciprocal trust and cooperation. This paper considers how Free/libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) teams demonstrate such behaviors within the context of e-mail, as this is the primary medium through which such teams communicate. We compare group maintenance behaviors between both core and peripheral members of these groups, as well as behaviors between a group that remains producing software today and one which has since dissolved. Our findings indicate that negative politeness tactics (those which show respect for the autonomy of others) may be the most instrumental group maintenance behaviors that contribute to a FLOSS group‘s ability to survive and continue software production.


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