Single- And Double-Loop Learning: Linking Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) Developer Motivation, Contribution, and Turnover Intentions

Sherae Daniel, Shadi Janansefat, E. Ilana DIamant, Yuqing Ren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) developers often make a single contribution to a project and then no more, making project management difficult. To improve understanding around why developers leave, this work explores the relationship between FLOSS developer motivations and their attitudes and behavior related to projects. In particular, we add insight to the current understanding of these issues by proposing single- and double-loop learning as intervening mechanisms that connect developer motivations to outcomes and thereby help clarify when developer motivations have negative and positive impacts for the project. We test our hypotheses in a sample of 132 FLOSS developers. We find that intrinsic motivations (motivation to learn) and social motivations (motivation to collaborate) positively influence single- and double-loop learning while extrinsic motivations negatively impact both types of learning. We further find that single- and double-loop learning have differential impacts on contribution to the focal project and other projects. While single-loop learning is associated with lower turnover intentions, double-loop learning is associated with higher turnover intentions. Implications of our findings for research and management are provided in the discussion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalData Base for Advances in Information Systems
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
other journals and conference proceedings. Her research has been funded by National Science Foundation and 3M Foundation. Dr. Ren is serving as a Senior Editor and the Diffusion Editor of Organization Science. She has also served as an Associate Editor for Management Science 2015-2017.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Copyright is held by the owner/author(s).


  • learning mechanisms
  • motivations
  • open source software
  • outcomes.


Dive into the research topics of 'Single- And Double-Loop Learning: Linking Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) Developer Motivation, Contribution, and Turnover Intentions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this