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Scientific study about Debian Project governance and social organization

Two academic management researchers, Siobhán O'Mahony and Fabrizion Ferraro, performed a detailed scientific study about Debian Project governance and social organization from the management perspective.
Read it here


The authors identified four phases to the evolution of Debian’s governance system:

De facto Governance (1993 – 1996);
Designing Governance (1997 – 1999);
Implementing Governance (1999 – 2003); and
Stabilizing Governance (2003 – 2006).
The research provides two distinct theoretical contributions.

First, the authors clarify earlier speculation about how production communities organize and find evidence of a limited form of bureaucracy that is more enabling than it is coercive.

Second, the authors show that even in a community of open source programmers that espouses the value of technical contributions above all else, members’ conceptions of leadership change over time to increasingly value organization building contributions.

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