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Author ORCID Identifier


Campus-Only Access for Five (5) Years

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Donal Carbaugh

Second Advisor

Benjamin Bailey

Third Advisor

Jonathan Rosa


This Cultural Discourse Analysis (CuDA) examines how practices of open source software production articulate the causal relationship between economic rationality and social organization. The empirical question asks how is it that programmers who choose to collaborate under conditions of time scarcity and lack of command ability manage to create a durable organization of production. The examination of actual practices of participants shows that free and open source software production is driven by a rational-instrumental desire for utility maximization. While individual self-interest depends on local communication practices for its articulation, it remains prior to both culture and communication. The study therefore concludes that there are constant human nature factors which are not, themselves, socioculturally determined, and that the acceptance of such factors is necessary for the development of a theory of human agency within communication studies.