Between Idealism and Realism: Negotiating the Entrepreneurial Role of the Free and Open-Source Movement in Contemporary Society

Andrea Hemetsberger, University of Innsbruck, Austria
The open source movement as a grassroots collaborative effort of volunteer expert programmers and users has developed into a successful business. This research addresses the question how members of the open-source tribe negotiate, resolve, and restate contradictions and tensions that arise from their common practice as successful entrepreneurs. The key findings show how they negotiate identity at the crossroads of Utopian romanticism and activism, pragmatic agency and skepticism. In an attempt to differentiate their practices from those of “the capitalist market,” discourse merges into a collective imagination of the free and open-source software (F/OSS) movement as a moral entrepreneurial actor.
[ to cite ]:
Andrea Hemetsberger (2008) ,"Between Idealism and Realism: Negotiating the Entrepreneurial Role of the Free and Open-Source Movement in Contemporary Society", in NA - Advances in Consumer Research Volume 35, eds. Angela Y. Lee and Dilip Soman, Duluth, MN : Association for Consumer Research, Pages: 63-66.