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The Synergy of Conflict and Creativity in Open Source Software Development Communities

Yilmaz, Levent
Auburn University

The objectives of this project are to explore how task, process, and interrelationship conflicts affect creative processes and what specific forms of conflict avoidance, management, and resolution strategies are conducive to promoting creative processes and organizational innovation. Computational models of specific individual, group, and organization characteristics will be used to define project configuration, which will influence the group and organizational dynamics in hypothetical Open Source Software development societies and cultures. Each such project entails a virtual organization and a community of practice, the members of which collaborate and coordinate their activities to design and develop innovative and creative software products. The simulation study is expected to generate hypotheses regarding mechanisms that open source software development societies could implement to improve organizational creativity at multiple resolutions, including human, team, and organization levels. The hypotheses will be generalized to suggest principles for design cognition and IT tool support that facilitates implementation of the selected strategies. Simulation-based design of such IT strategies will be enabled based on the developed testbed.

During the period of the study, there will be informal meetings at Auburn University to raise awareness on creativity research to facilitate development of an interdisciplinary group of researchers across engineering and social sciences faculty. The findings of the study will be transferred to the software modeling and design class offered at the Auburn University. This will enhance design learning and cognition via improved processes and activities (e.g., styles of collaborative problem solving) that will be hypothesized to be conducive to design creativity.

Last modified 16 August 2007 at 6:40 am by haleden