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korean management review - Vol. 50, No. 3

[ Article ]
korean management review - Vol. 50, No. 3, pp.665-686
Abbreviation: kmr
ISSN: 1226-1874 (Print)
Print publication date 30 Jun 2021
Received 09 Nov 2020 Revised 16 Jan 2021 Accepted 18 Jan 2021

What Leaders Really Do for Open Collaborations: Focusing on Open Source Software Development Projects
Hyunmi Baek ; Saerom Lee ; Sehwan Oh ; Moonkyoung Jang
(First Author) School of Media and Communication, Korea University (
(Corresponding Author) School of Business Administration, Kyungpook National University (
(Co-Author) School of Business Administration, Kyungpook National University (
(Co-Author) Global IT department, Hannam university (

개방형 협업 리더의 역할은 무엇인가?: 오픈소스 소프트웨어 프로젝트를 중심으로

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Funding Information ▼


Rapid advancements in the field of information communication technology (ICT) have enabled people to collaborate through the Internet. This study focuses on open-source software development, which develops complex software or web services autonomously. To verify the antecedents of the participation of developers for successful open-source software development, we examine the relationship of the leadership roles of the project leader, such as knowledge contribution, interactions, and quality control with the participation of individual developers. For data collection, we develop a web crawler using the Python programming language and collect 518 repositories from GitHub, which is one of the leading platforms for developing open source software. We find that the participation of developers is closely associated with leaders who actively contribute knowledge, interact with the developers, and ensure strict quality control. Furthermore, the software development phase moderates the relationship between quality control and the participation of individual developers.

Keywords: Open collaboration, Open-source software, Innovation participation, Super leadership


This research is supported by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF-2019S1A3A2099973), and the MSIT(Ministry of Science and ICT), Korea, under the ITRC (Information Technology Research Center) support program (IITP-2020-0-01749-001) supervised by the IITP (Institute of Information & Communications Technology Planning & Evaluation)

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∙ The author Hyunmi Baek is an associate professor in the School of Media and Communication, Korea University. She received her BS in chemical engineering from the Pohang University of Science and Technology and her MS in IT management from the Information and Communications University. She received her PhD in management information systems from Seoul National University. From 2003 to 2013, she worked for Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute. From 2013 to 2018, she worked for Hanyang University. Her primary research interests are electronic word-of-mouth in social media, media management, information adoption, and open collaboration.

∙ The author Saerom Lee has been with the School of Business Administration, Kyungpook National University, Daegu, Rep. of Korea, where she is now an assistant professor, since 2018. She received her BS degree in International Trade from Pusan National University, in 2010, and her PhD degree in management information systems from Seoul National University, Seoul, Rep. of Korea, in 2016. Her main research interests are open collaboration in open source software developers and cyber bullying behaviors focusing on sexual harassment.

∙ The author Sehwan Oh is an Associate Professor at the School of Business Administration, Kyungpook National University. He earned his PhD Degree in Management Information Systems from the College of Business Administration, Seoul National University, MS Degree in Information Technologies– eBusiness Technology (MSIT) from the School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University, and BA Degree in Economics from the College of Social Sciences, Seoul National University. He worked for Korea International Trade Association (KITA) as a senior researcher. His current research interests include sharing economy, social media, electronic word-of-mouth, and ICT use in international trade.

∙ The author Moonkyoung Jang is an assistant professor at Global IT Business, Hannam university. She received her Ph.D. Degree in Management Information Systems from the College of Business Administration, Seoul National University. She worked as an ERP programmer for Lotte Data Communication Company and Tyco International, and worked as a researcher at Nanyang Technological University and Korea University. Her research interests include digital contents platform, eWOM, open collaboration, and media management.