German University to interview KDE developers

anbrand A.Brand at
Wed Jun 5 11:52:59 BST 2002

(This message was send also to and several other important

currently I'm researching Open Source communities from a labour market view.
I am researching your KDE community because it is one of the biggest and
most interesting Open Source communities in the world. Some well known guys
like Kalle Dallheimer, Torben Weis and the KDE promo-team are backing our
research. Our research includes some personal interviews with several KDE
participants and a survey at the congress called Linuxtag in Karlsruhe,
Germany. We also want to make an online-survey which will be posted later.
You will find more details in the main body.

So, my name is Andreas Brand and I’m situated at the university of
Frankfurt. I am a sociologist who is involved in a research project called
“Project Electronic Labor Markets” which is funded by the german research
community (Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft; it's an organisation funded by
the german state).

Here is a short abstract of our research theme:
The expanding use of information technology speeds up the information flow
on the organisation of work as well as on the supply and demand for work
within different labour markets. This leads to the development of electronic
labour markets, in which technological agents play an increasing part in the
regulation and coordination of work, its control and remuneration.
These different labour markets are the internal labour markets, e.g. in the
firm, the external labour markets, e.g. the search for a job by
As a result, existing patterns of regulation in can be changed (internal
labour markets) or reinforced (external labour markets) and new patterns of
ressource allocation emerge (labour networks).
The aim of this research project is to describe and to explain the structure
and the functioning of electronic labour markets.
We will analyse the interdependency of technology, institutions and agents,
and its impact on the functioning of different kinds of labour markets. The
results of this analysis present an outlook on changes of work organisation,
which are assisted by ICT-technology, and work(force) allocation as a
pacemaker for the process of industrial modernisation.

I’m researching the labor networks, which consist of two idealtypic forms. A
case study is conducted on each of these two forms of networks.

The first form is a vertical centralized network with a coordinator in the
center of communication who has the authority and control in the network.
This kind of network could be found as virtual teams of e-lancer who are
hired by a firm to work together on a joint product. (I have not found any
of this networks in Germany. Has anybody of KDE heard of one or is
participating in one?)

The second is a horizontal decentralized network without any center of
communication and direct control as in a firm. This network could be seen as
an open source community, i.e. in the tradition of Linux, apache webserver,
etc., in which a common product is produced.

So KDE is the best research object because in KDE the authority or control
is dispersed to several or better all participants.
This research supports KDE in giving KDE a higher reputation in the outside
world. This is one possibility that KDE may be helped to get some shares in
the administration desktop market or in the schools (Needless to say that
the reputation will take more programmers to KDE).
Also some well known guys like Kalle Dallheimer, Torben Weis and the KDE
promo-team back our research.
We have already conducted some personal interviews with Eva Brucherseifer,
Ralf Nolden and Rainer Endres. We will also interview some more people of
the core-team and some of the periphery of KDE. So do not be surprised when
we contact you.

This is the first stage of our research, in the second stage we want to make
an online-survey and a survey at the congress called Linuxtag in Karlsruhe,
Germany. Do not be shy when we post our online-survey or give you the

Best wishes

Andreas Brand, Researcher

  Dipl. Soz. Andreas Brand
  Project electronic labourmarkets (PELM)
    / Projekt elektronische Arbeitsmärkte
  Johann W. v. Goethe Universität
    / Johann W. v. Goethe University
  Institut für Polytechnik und Arbeitslehre
    / Institute for polytechnic and laboursciences
  Robert-Mayer Str. 1 / FLAT: Zimmer 105 / Room 105
  Postadresse / for letters:
  D-60054 Frankfurt / Main
  Tel.:  +49-(0)69-798-28923; Fax: ~798-28233
  Email: A.Brand at

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