Collaboration Through Open Superposition: A Theory of the Open Source Way

  title={Collaboration Through Open Superposition: A Theory of the Open Source Way},
  author={James Howison and Kevin Crowston},
  journal={MIS Q.},
This paper develops and illustrates the theory of collaboration through open superposition: the process of depositing motivationally independent layers of work on top of each other over time. The theory is developed in a study of community-based free and open source software (FLOSS) development, through a research arc of discovery (participant observation), replication (two archival case studies), and theorization. The theory explains two key findings: (1) the overwhelming majority of work is… 

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