Governance in Peer Production Communities: the Case of Debian Project Leader Elections
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SWPS University
Submission date: 2022-11-02
Acceptance date: 2023-02-02
Publication date: 2023-06-28
Polish Sociological Review 2023;222(2):263–282
The purpose of this article is to explore the Debian Project, which is a peer production organization, and to answer the main research question of what topics were discussed in Project Leader candidates’ program statements. One of the organizational solutions, voting for the Project Leader, was subjected to detailed analysis. According to the usual practice, candidates for the leadership position each publish a program declaration. The study collected all such declarations from 1999–2020 and analyzed them using quantitative text analysis methods. As a result, it was possible to define the most important topics appearing in the declarations, and to track changes in their proportions over time. It was found that management has always been an important topic for candidates. In turn, analysis using Structural Topic Modeling showed at a detailed level which sub-topics related to management were discussed, and how their share changed over time.
The author declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.