Computer programmers as volunteer workers: The case of the free and open source software movement

International Employment Relations Association
Publication Type:
Journal Article
The International Employment Relations Review, 2008, 14 (1), pp. 63 - 75
Issue Date:
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The primary benefit of free and open source computer software to the community and not-for-profit sectors lies in the fact that it is almost always completely free of both charge and administrative encumbrance. A more detailed analysis of the context in which the software is created exposes an even greater relevance to the human resource and third sector management however - the individuals who create this software are volunteers. This paper introduces free and open source software, highlights the key technical and social factors that make it so interesting to the human resource management context, and applies the Levy (2006) framework to correlate the production of open source computer software with the Volunteering Australia definition of volunteering.
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