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[ox-en] PhD position on the governance of open source communities

Opening: PhD position at the Delft University of Technology
Topic: The governance of open source communities
Position: School of Organization & Management, Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management at the Delft, University of Technology

The Department of Policy, Organization and Management has an opening for a full-time PhD student. The student will be doing research on open source communities.

The topic
Open source communities are groups of sometimes hundreds if not thousands of individuals with different interests, backgrounds and motives. Many of these people are volunteers who are not paid to participate in the communities. Furthermore, many never get to see each other in real life. They meet virtually, on the Internet. Yet they are able to collectively develop software that is highly complex, that has proven to work and that is viewed as a viable alternative in today's software market.

As a consequence of their success, more and more organizations are attracted to open source communities and they start to adopt open source software and/or become involved in open source communities. With this increased attention, the dependency of society on open source software has dramatically increased in recent years. With this increasing dependency, the need to understand open source communities has become increasingly important.

Much research has focused on the reasons why individuals and companies participate in open source communities. It seems like there is some level of consensus among researchers as to what the most important motives are. Also, much research has been done on collaboration and coordination in open source communities. Yet, we are looking for a PhD student who has an interest in and wants to perform research on topics that are positioned within this latter research field. Although, much research has been performed on the organization of open source communities, there are still many questions left unanswered. For instance: ?What is the role of the internet in the communication between developers?? What are the effects of the voting system in communities, like Apache? Is there an optimal size of an open source community and how can we measure this? How should we measure the performance of an open source community? Next to research on the communities as such, the student will be asked to analyze the interplay between public and private sector organizations and open source communities. Questions that are relevant are for instance: ?how should organizations manage their relationship with open source communities?? In what ways can businesses make money from open source software? What should be the attitude of public organizations towards open source software and open source communities?

In the first year, the student will frequently interact and collaborate with his/her supervisors to identify a more-specified topic within this broad spectrum of possible topics. There are, however, a number of restrictions to this freedom: * The topic will have to be on the interplay between organization & management and ICT.
* The topic has to be novel.

We offer
The PhD student will work in a very challenging and exciting work environment. Some of the characteristics: * He/she will fit into an existing research group with a long tradition in research projects that are on the interplay between technology and management. * He/she will work in close collaboration with a number of fellow-researchers who are actively involved in research on open source communities * The Delft, University of Technology has excellent working conditions. The student will earn a salary of around ? 2.000 a month. More detailed information will follow.

The candidate should have earned his/her Masters degree. The candidate should also have an interest in the interplay between ICT and organization & management. Important is that the student should be able to reflect on broader managerial issues. Previous experience with open source communities is an advantage, but not a requirement. The student should have an interest in and be willing to conduct research with methods of both a quantitative as well as qualitative nature.

The working language for the thesis will be English. Skills in English writing and talking are a prerequisite. A working competence in Dutch would be an advantage. Facilities will be offered to improve language skills early in the project. Next to research and writing the dissertation, the student is expected to participate in the activities of the department. This means, he/she will have to do some teaching and publish their (preliminary) findings in (inter-)national journals and books.

Deadline: your applications should be received at or before February 16, 2006. Interviews with candidates are scheduled to take place in the last weeks of February and first weeks of March in 2006.

Probable start: April 1, 2006

Ruben van Wendel de Joode

More information will follow.

Contact: projekt

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