Do I Belong? Modeling Sense of Virtual Community Among Linux Kernel Contributors

Bianca Trinkenreich, Klaas Jan Stol, Anita Sarma, Daniel M. German, Marco A. Gerosa, Igor Steinmacher

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

The sense of belonging to a community is a basic human need that impacts an individual's behavior, long-term engagement, and job satisfaction, as revealed by research in disciplines such as psychology, healthcare, and education. Despite much research on how to retain developers in Open Source Software (OSS) projects and other virtual, peer-production communities, there is a paucity of research investigating what might contribute to a sense of belonging in these communities. To that end, we develop a theoretical model that seeks to understand the link between OSS developer motives and a Sense of Virtual Community (SVC). We test the model with a dataset collected in the Linux Kernel developer community (N=225), using structural equation modeling techniques. Our results for this case study show that intrinsic motivations (social or hedonic motives) are positively associated with a sense of virtual community, but living in an authoritative country and being paid to contribute can reduce the sense of virtual community. Based on these results, we offer suggestions for open source projects to foster a sense of virtual community, with a view to retaining contributors and Improving projects' sustainability.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2023 IEEE/ACM 45th International Conference on Software Engineering, ICSE 2023
PublisherIEEE Computer Society
Pages319-331
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781665457019
DOIs
StatePublished - 2023
Event45th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Software Engineering, ICSE 2023 - Melbourne, Australia
Duration: May 15 2023May 16 2023

Publication series

NameProceedings - International Conference on Software Engineering
ISSN (Print)0270-5257

Conference

Conference45th IEEE/ACM International Conference on Software Engineering, ICSE 2023
Country/TerritoryAustralia
CityMelbourne
Period5/15/235/16/23

Keywords

  • PLS-SEM
  • belonging
  • human factors
  • open source
  • sense of virtual community
  • software developers
  • survey

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software

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