loading page

Knights and Gold Stars: A Tale of InnerSource Incentivization
  • Tapajit Dey ,
  • Ning (Willem) Jiang ,
  • Brian Fitzgerald
Tapajit Dey
University of Limerick, University of Limerick

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

Author Profile
Ning (Willem) Jiang
Author Profile
Brian Fitzgerald
Author Profile


Given the success of the open source phenomenon, it is not surprising that many organizations are seeking to emulate this success by adopting open source practices internally in what is termed InnerSource. However, while open source development and InnerSource are similar in some aspects, they differ significantly on others, and thus need to be implemented and managed differently. To the best of our knowledge, there is no significant account of a successful InnerSource incentivization program. Here we describe a comprehensive InnerSource incentivization program which was implemented at Huawei. The program is based on theories of motivation, both intrinsic and extrinsic, and also includes incentives at the individual, project, and divisional level, which helps to overcome the barriers that arise when implementing InnerSource. The program has had very impressive early results, leading to significant increases in the number of InnerSource projects, contributors, departments, and lines of code contributed.
Nov 2022Published in IEEE Software volume 39 issue 6 on pages 88-98. 10.1109/MS.2022.3192647