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Skill, division of labor and performance in collective inventions: Evidence from open source software

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Author Info

  • Paola Giuri

    ()
    (Department of Management, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy)

  • Matteo Ploner

    (Department of Economics, Trento University, Trento, Italy)

  • Francesco Rullani

    ()
    (Department of Innovation and Organizational Economics, Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg, Denmark)

  • Salvatore Torrisi

    ()
    (KITES Bocconi University, Milan, Italy - Department of Management, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy)

Abstract

This paper investigates the skills and the division of labor among participants in collective inventions. Our analysis draws on a large sample of projects registered at Sourceforge.net, the world’s largest incubator of open source software activity. We test the hypothesis that skill variety of participants is associated with project performance. We also explore whether the level of modularization of project activities is correlated with performance. Our econometric estimations show that skill heterogeneity is associated with project survival and performance. However, the relationship between skill diversity and performance is non-monotonic. Design modularity is also positively associated with the performance of the project. Finally, the interaction between skill heterogeneity and modularity is negatively associated with performance.

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File URL: ftp://ftp.unibocconi.it/pub/RePEc/cri/papers/KitesWP17.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy in its series KITeS Working Papers with number 017.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2009
Date of revision: Jul 2009
Handle: RePEc:cri:cespri:kites17_wp

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Postal: via Sarfatti, 25 - 20136 Milano - Italy
Phone: +39.025836.3397
Fax: +39.025836.3399
Web page: http://www.kites.unibocconi.it/

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Postal: E G E A - via R. Sarfatti, 25 - 20136 Milano -Italy

Related research

Keywords: Software; Technological innovation; Human capital; Modularity;

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References

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  1. Keld Laursen & Volker Mahnke & Per Vejrup-Hansen, 2005. "Do Differences Make a Difference? The Impact of Human Capital Diversity, Experience and Compensation on Firm Performance in Engineering Consulting," DRUID Working Papers 05-04, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
  2. Josh Lerner & Jean Tirole, 2002. "The Scope of Open Source Licensing," NBER Working Papers 9363, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Fershtman, Chaim & Gandal, Neil, 2004. "The Determinants of Output Per Contributor in Open Source Projects: An Empirical Examination," CEPR Discussion Papers 4329, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Comino, Stefano & Manenti, Fabio M. & Parisi, Maria Laura, 2007. "From planning to mature: On the success of open source projects," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 1575-1586, December.
  5. Carliss Y. Baldwin & Kim B. Clark, 2006. "The Architecture of Participation: Does Code Architecture Mitigate Free Riding in the Open Source Development Model?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(7), pages 1116-1127, July.
  6. Leiponen, Aija, 2005. "Skills and innovation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 23(5-6), pages 303-323, June.
  7. Caroli, Eve & Van Reenen, John, 1999. "Skill biased organizational change? Evidence from a panel of British and French establishments," CEPREMAP Working Papers (Couverture Orange) 9917, CEPREMAP.
  8. Samer Faraj & Lee Sproull, 2000. "Coordinating Expertise in Software Development Teams," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(12), pages 1554-1568, December.
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  12. Allen, Robert C., 1983. "Collective invention," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 1-24, March.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Sebastian von Engelhardt & Andreas Freytag & Christoph Schulz, 2013. "On the Geographic Allocation of Open Source Software Activities," International Journal of Innovation in the Digital Economy (IJIDE), IGI Global, vol. 4(2), pages 25-39, April.
  2. Consoli, Davide & Elche-Hortelano, Dioni, 2010. "Variety in the knowledge base of Knowledge Intensive Business Services," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(10), pages 1303-1310, December.
  3. Giampaolo Garzarelli & Riccardo Fontanella, 2011. "Open Source Software Production, Spontaneous Input, and Organizational Learning," American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(4), pages 928-950, October.
  4. Rullani, Francesco & Haefliger, Stefan, 2013. "The periphery on stage: The intra-organizational dynamics in online communities of creation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 941-953.
  5. Consoli,Davide & Elche,Dioni, 2014. "An analysis of the knowledge base of Scientific Research & Development Business Services," INGENIO (CSIC-UPV) Working Paper Series 201401, INGENIO (CSIC-UPV).
  6. Davide Consoli & Dioni Elche, 2013. "The evolving knowledge base of professional service sectors," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 477-501, April.
  7. Andreas Freytag & Sebastian von Engelhardt, 2010. "Institutions, Culture, and Open Source," Jena Economic Research Papers 2010-010, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  8. Francesco Rullani & Francesco Zirpoli, 2013. "Coordination of joint search in distributed innovation processes: Lessons from the effects of initial code release in Open Source Software development," Working Papers 20, Department of Management, Università Ca' Foscari Venezia.

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