Research & Innovation

New Stevens Professor’s Dissertation Work Earns Best Paper Award

Professor Aron Lindberg has yet to teach his first class at Stevens, but his Ph.D. work is helping him make a name for himself at the School of Business. 

Dr. Lindberg, who joins the School of Business in the fall as an assistant professor of information systems, recently received the Academy of Management Organizational Communication and Information Systems Best Conference Paper award with two of his research collaborators.

The paper, “Towards an Open Source Software Development Life Cycle,” was written by Dr. Lindberg; Dr. Nicholas Berente, an assistant professor of management information systems at the University of Georgia; and Dr. Kalle Lyytinen, a professor of design and innovation at Case Western Reserve University.

The paper, which was selected from 183 submitted manuscripts, is based on Lindberg’s doctoral dissertation, and frames open source software development processes in terms of a life cycle, emulating the sorts of patterns seen in traditional, “closed” software development — though in open source software, these patterns are emergent.

Dr. Lindberg and his colleagues studied Ruby on Rails, a popular open-source web development framework, and found that open-source software life cycles consisting of three stages between release: cleanup, wherein there is a balance between discourse-driven and direct problem-solving routines; sedimentation, in which direct problem-solving routines are dominant; and negotiation, where discourse-driven problem solving takes place.

“This research has important applications for open-source software development and other forms of open innovation,” Dr. Lindberg said. “It suggests that different approaches are required for the effective governance of projects, depending on where in their life cycle they find themselves.”

At Stevens, information systems research is part of what drives the Center for Decision Technologies, which investigates networks and their impact upon decision-making. This dovetails well with Dr. Lindberg’s own research interests, which center around digital innovation — especially as it relates to routines and work processes in open innovation and open-source software development. His work involves a combination of qualitative work and computational machine-learning techniques. Currently, he is pursuing publication in the prestigious journal Information Systems Research.