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University of Helsinki Center for Activity Theory and Developmental Work Research

Center for Activity Theory and Developmental Work Research

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Center for Activity Theory and Developmental Work Research
Department of Education
P.O. Box 26 (Teollisuuskatu 23)
FIN-00014 University of Helsinki

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Juha Siltala, M.A., Doctoral Student

Tel.: +358 9 191 44157
Mobile: +358 45 113 9900

Postal address:
Center for Activity Theory and Developmental Work Research
P.O. Box 26
FIN-00014 University of Helsinki

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Current Activities

My main interest is the organization of Internet-mediated, distributed work. My dissertation work deals with the emergence of rules in GNOME, a large Free Open Source software project. Loose, object-oriented collaboration networks are emerging as a distinctive, new form of organization as an alternative to traditional, hierarchical organizations. My work concentrates on the defining norms and rules with which the projects regulate property rights, best practices and code of conduct within the community. The research revolves around questions of

* how the object of work is defined and redefined in a free software project's practical decision making,
* how rules of conduct in on-line communication is established and enforced in practice, and
* how the diverse interests of various contributors and contributor groups are regulated within a free software project.

I wish my work to contribute to cultural-historical activity theory through the empirical work I am conducting within the realm of object-oriented peer networks of Free Software production.

Short Biography

I graduated from the University of Oulu, Finland, in 2002, majoring in the History of Science and Ideas. My interest in Free Software and the open development model comes from personal experience with Free systems and involvement with the online community of Free Software enthusiasts and in the technical user groups. My Master's thesis was a historical overview of the political thought and ethics of the worldwide community of hackers and Free Software evangelists.

I have done assistant research work for the Center since early 2002, and started as a full-time doctoral student there in January 2003. Currently I am writing my dissertation on the evolution of commercial Open Source, particularly the GNOME project.


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