Research Insights: Balancing innovation and sustainability
Consortium-based open source software (COSS) development is a strategic alternative to in-house development and commercial acquisition. However, developers may struggle with seemingly opposing forces—exploration (innovation) and exploitation (sustainability)—that compete for resources.
Manlu Liu, Professor of MIS, marketing, and analytics in Saunders College, with colleagues Sean Hansen and Qiang (John) Tu, discuss this quandary in an article, “Sustaining collaborative software development through strategic consortium,” published in the Journal of Strategic Information Systems. Liu and her co-authors performed a longitudinal case study of the Kuali Initiative, a COSS development project in the field of higher education.
They found that exploration and exploitation can be balanced effectively to support both openness and long-term viability. In fact, innovation and sustainability can support one another across multi-level collaboration enabled by modular technical and organizational design.
View paper posted in the Journal of Strategic Information Systems, May 3, 2021: Sustaining collaborative software development through strategic consortium.