4.2. OSS firms in international business context – opportunities and challenges from culture and piracy

Public examination of a doctoral dissertation in the field of marketing
Doctoral candidate: M.Soc.sc. Timo Pykäläinen
Time and venue 4.2.2011 at 12 noon, C2, Carelia, Joensuu Campus

The main research subject of this dissertation is Open Source Software (OSS). It is an industry-driven case study aiming to understand OSS business in international context. As the purpose of this dissertation is to better understand OSS business in international context generally, it includes discussions concerning aspects of strategies, opportunities and challenges of OSS firms. These firms face unique challenges in business models, strategies and international activities. Therefore, rather than creating a single framework for internationalization of OSS firms per se, it is better to have a holistic understanding about the business of OSS firms in international context.

This dissertation builds up on earlier research on internationalization theories, culture’s influence on technology adoption and strategies against (software) piracy. This dissertation consists of an introductory section and five individually published research articles. The contribution of this dissertation may be applicable only in the software business, nevertheless the contribution relates to earlier research.

First, the research findings add to our understanding about culture’s influence on technology adoption. Second, this research enlightens our understanding of OSS firms' international activities and provides a new addition to the internationalization theories in the form of industry-specific findings. Third, the results help us to explain the difference between profiting from innovation of OSS firms and profiting from innovation of proprietary firms and, fourth, this research suggests a new ‘permissive’ anti-piracy strategy that does not belong to either deterrent or preventive strategies against piracy. The developed framework does not explain the internationalization process of OSS firms per se, as the traditional internationalization theories do, instead we try to understand the business of OSS firms in the international context holistically. Thus this helps to explain their activities regardless of their focus on international or domestic business.

This dissertation owes a lot to abductive logic as a scientific approach. The research topic is approached from a case study point-of-view. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were used in this research.

The doctoral dissertation of M.Soc.sc. Timo Pykäläinen, entitled OSS firms in international business context – opportunities and challenges from culture and piracy, will be examined at the Faculty of Social Sciences and Business Studies. The opponent in the public examination will be Professor Pauliina Ulkuniemi of the University of Oulu and Professor Jari Salo of the Aalto University, and the custos will be Professor Raija Komppula of the University of Eastern Finland.

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Publishing year: 2011

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