Risk Factors of the Partner Relationship between Open Source ERP Editors and IT Services Companies

  •  Balla Diop    
  •  Daniel Pascot    
  •  Sidi Mbibi    
  •  Louis Banag    


The open source ERP systems are beginning to take a significant market share of ERP in SMEs. They are
supported and developed by several actors: open source editors and communities. The purpose of this study is to
examine the risk factors in the relationship of open source ERP editors and their partners (i.e., the information
technology (IT) services companies). Three exploratory case studies on partnership relations between ERP editors
and IT services companies are carried out by relying on a qualitative method of collecting and analyzing data. The
results show the existence of several of risks in such a relationship: the risk of fork, the risk of opportunistic
behavior, the risk of conflict, the risk of absorption, the risk of non-appropriation, and finally the risk differences of
objectives. These results confirm the risk factors already found in the literature in strategic alliances. This research
is based on a qualitative approach, therefore reducing its generalization. In terms of managerial implications, this
research creates awareness among leaders of IT services companies, who wish to become a partner of ERP open
source editor, to the risks involved in such collaboration. Open source Software and particularly open source
ERP systems are a modern phenomenon. This paper examines the relationship between open source ERP editors
and their partners in terms of risk, whereas the literature on risk factors focuses only in the world of proprietary
software (or commercial).

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.