In the network: Distributed control in Gentoo Linux
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This position paper reports on the findings of an empirical pilot study of Gentoo Linux. Gentoo Linux is an open source Linux distribution developed by a geographically distributed community of volunteers. The reported findings are based on the analysis of a specific episode using actor network theory. With basis in the analysis, it is argued that control in this specific episode can be interpreted as both distributed and local at the same time. Control here being the power to define a problem and make the decision about the appropriate solution to the problem defined. Control, it is argued, is distributed in that it is the function of reciprocal influence among several human and non-human actors. Furthermore, it is argued that control can be interpreted as not inherent in organizational structures or hierarchies, but locally embedded among actors in the decision making process. 1.