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Deliberate change without hierarchical influence? The case of collaborative OSS communities

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Deliberate change without hierarchical influence? The case of collaborative OSS communities. / Nørskov, Sladjana; Kesting, Peter; Ulhøi, John Parm.

In: International Journal of Organizational Analysis, Vol. 25, No. 2, 2017, p. 346-374.

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@article{5ed556f2ba2c407cbe04810ff0ed9f9b,
title = "Deliberate change without hierarchical influence?: The case of collaborative OSS communities",
abstract = "PurposeThis paper aims to present that deliberate change is strongly associated with formal structures and top-down influence. Hierarchical configurations have been used to structure processes, overcome resistance and get things done. But is deliberate change also possible without formal structures and hierarchical influence?Design/methodology/approachThis longitudinal, qualitative study investigates an open-source software (OSS) community named TYPO3. This case exhibits no formal hierarchical attributes. The study is based on mailing lists, interviews and observations.FindingsThe study reveals that deliberate change is indeed achievable in a non-hierarchical collaborative OSS community context. However, it presupposes the presence and active involvement of informal change agents. The paper identifies and specifies four key drivers for change agents’ influence.Originality/valueThe findings contribute to organisational analysis by providing a deeper understanding of the importance of leadership in making deliberate change possible in non-hierarchical settings. It points to the importance of “change-by-conviction”, essentially based on voluntary behaviour. This can open the door to reducing the negative side effects of deliberate change also for hierarchical organisations.",
keywords = "Change agents , Change by conviction, Deliberate change, Hierarchical influence, Open-source communities",
author = "Sladjana N{\o}rskov and Peter Kesting and Ulh{\o}i, {John Parm}",
year = "2017",
doi = "10.1108/IJOA-08-2016-1050",
language = "English",
volume = "25",
pages = "346--374",
journal = "International Journal of Organizational Analysis",
issn = "1934-8835",
publisher = "JAI Press",
number = "2",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Deliberate change without hierarchical influence?

T2 - The case of collaborative OSS communities

AU - Nørskov, Sladjana

AU - Kesting, Peter

AU - Ulhøi, John Parm

PY - 2017

Y1 - 2017

N2 - PurposeThis paper aims to present that deliberate change is strongly associated with formal structures and top-down influence. Hierarchical configurations have been used to structure processes, overcome resistance and get things done. But is deliberate change also possible without formal structures and hierarchical influence?Design/methodology/approachThis longitudinal, qualitative study investigates an open-source software (OSS) community named TYPO3. This case exhibits no formal hierarchical attributes. The study is based on mailing lists, interviews and observations.FindingsThe study reveals that deliberate change is indeed achievable in a non-hierarchical collaborative OSS community context. However, it presupposes the presence and active involvement of informal change agents. The paper identifies and specifies four key drivers for change agents’ influence.Originality/valueThe findings contribute to organisational analysis by providing a deeper understanding of the importance of leadership in making deliberate change possible in non-hierarchical settings. It points to the importance of “change-by-conviction”, essentially based on voluntary behaviour. This can open the door to reducing the negative side effects of deliberate change also for hierarchical organisations.

AB - PurposeThis paper aims to present that deliberate change is strongly associated with formal structures and top-down influence. Hierarchical configurations have been used to structure processes, overcome resistance and get things done. But is deliberate change also possible without formal structures and hierarchical influence?Design/methodology/approachThis longitudinal, qualitative study investigates an open-source software (OSS) community named TYPO3. This case exhibits no formal hierarchical attributes. The study is based on mailing lists, interviews and observations.FindingsThe study reveals that deliberate change is indeed achievable in a non-hierarchical collaborative OSS community context. However, it presupposes the presence and active involvement of informal change agents. The paper identifies and specifies four key drivers for change agents’ influence.Originality/valueThe findings contribute to organisational analysis by providing a deeper understanding of the importance of leadership in making deliberate change possible in non-hierarchical settings. It points to the importance of “change-by-conviction”, essentially based on voluntary behaviour. This can open the door to reducing the negative side effects of deliberate change also for hierarchical organisations.

KW - Change agents

KW - Change by conviction

KW - Deliberate change

KW - Hierarchical influence

KW - Open-source communities

U2 - 10.1108/IJOA-08-2016-1050

DO - 10.1108/IJOA-08-2016-1050

M3 - Journal article

VL - 25

SP - 346

EP - 374

JO - International Journal of Organizational Analysis

JF - International Journal of Organizational Analysis

SN - 1934-8835

IS - 2

ER -