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Journal articles (2020), Strategic Management Journal, 41 (10), pp. 1837-1868

Resolving governance disputes in communities: A study of software license decisions

HE Vivianna , Puranam Phanish, Shrestha Yash Raj, Von Krogh Georg

Resolving governance disputes is of vital importance for communities. Gathering data from GitHub communities, we employ hybrid inductive methods to study discussions around initiation and change of software licenses—a fundamental and potentially contentious governance issue. First, we apply machine learning algorithms to identify robust patterns in data: resolution is more likely in larger discussion groups and in projects without a license compared to those with a license. Second, we analyze textual data to explain the causal mechanisms underpinning these patterns. The resulting theory highlights the group process (reflective agency switches disputes from bargaining to problem solving) and group property (preference alignment over attributes) that are both necessary for the resolution of governance disputes, contributing to the literature on community governance. Link to the article

HE, V., PURANAM, P., SHRESTHA, Y.R. and VON KROGH, G. (2020). Resolving governance disputes in communities: A study of software license decisions. Strategic Management Journal, 41(10), pp. 1837-1868.

Keywords : #community-governance, #dispute-resolution, #inductive-theorizing, #machine-learning, #problem-solving