The Logic of Collective Action

April 7, 2009 | 1 min Read

In the last few days, there have been a number of provocative and interesting posts around the issue of how to maintain Eclipse’s innovation, as well as commercial growth, and project contributions

Bjorn’s - It’s a New World

Doug’s - On the Future of Eclipse

and Michael’s - Eclipse Freeloader Award

There is some long-standing social science/economics work that is relevant.  For example, see The Logic of Collective Action.  Some thoughts from what I’ve read from Olson’s book:

  1. Small groups differ from large groups in their incentives for participation

  2. Selective incentives/disincentives for participation are sometimes necessary (i.e. different incentives for different group members)

  3. Large groups are less able to act in their common interest than small ones

Some of the thinking that’s going on around how to get the EF membership to all act/contribute…in order that all can continue to benefit…and maintain a healthy community…could be informed by this work.