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 examining the organizational processes of the free/libre open‐source software community, Drupal. It does so by exploring the sociotechnical systems that have emerged around both Drupal’s development and its face‐to‐face communitarian events. There has been criticism of the simplistic nature of previous research into free software; this study addresses this by linking studies of CBPP with a qualitative study of Drupal’s organizational processes. It focuses on the evolution of organizational structures, identifying the intertwined dynamics of formalization and decentralization, resulting in coexisting sociotechnical systems that vary in their degrees of organicity.