The Impact of Person-Organization Fit and Psychological Ownership on Turnover in Open Source Software Projects

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Chung, Tingting; Sharma, Pratyush; Sherae, Daniel
article description
Open source software (OSS) projects represent an alternate form of software production by relying primarily on voluntary contributions. Despite the immense success of several mainstream OSS projects such as Mozilla, Linux, and Apache, a vast majority of such projects fail to sustain their development due to high levels of developer turnover. While existing research in the area has offered a rich foundation, we know little about how developers’ perceptions of fit with the project environment may be moderated by the sense of ownership they have toward the project and how it may impact their turnover intentions. Using survey data from 574 GitHub developers, we tested a model to examine the impact of Person-Organization fit and psychological ownership on developers’ turnover intentions. Our results suggest that two relevant dimensions of fit, namely, value and demands-abilities fit, negatively impact turnover intentions and that their sense of ownership moderates these effects.