Loosing control without loosing control: Formalization and decentralization within common-based peer production

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“It is in collectivities that we find reservoirs of hope and optimism.”

― Angela Y. Davis

Loosing control without loosing control: Formalization and decentralization within common-based peer production

This study considers commons-based peer production (CBPP) by examiningthe organizational processes of the free/libre open-source software community,Drupal. It does so by exploring the sociotechnical systems that have emergedaround both Drupal’s development and its face-to-face communitarian events.There has been criticism of the simplistic nature of previous research into freesoftware; this study addresses this by linking studies of CBPP with a qualitativestudy of Drupal’s organizational processes. It focuses on the evolution of orga-nizational structures, identifying the intertwined dynamics of formalizationand decentralization, resulting in coexisting sociotechnical systems that varyin their degrees of organicity.