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Codified-Tacit and General-Specific Knowledge in the division of labour among firms. A study of the Software Industry

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  • Salvatore Torrisi
  • Rosa Grimaldi

Abstract

This paper addresses the organisation and codification of knowledge in the software industry. It analyses various economic incentives to codification, including the need to improve the productivity and quality of software production processes and to access inter-firm collaborations. The paper examines the experience of four Italian software firms specialised in software packages and services. It compares their capabilities, the main sources of tacit knowledge, their specific incentives to invest in knowledge codification, their usage of formal software development methodologies and quality control systems. Finally, the paper analyses two distinct technological collaborations that two of these firms have recently established.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Cattaneo University (LIUC) in its series LIUC Papers in Economics with number 85.

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Length: 26 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2001
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:liu:liucec:85

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  1. Cohen, Wesley M & Levinthal, Daniel A, 1989. "Innovation and Learning: The Two Faces of R&D," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 99(397), pages 569-96, September.
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  3. Rosenberg, Nathan, 1990. "Why do firms do basic research (with their own money)?," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 165-174, April.
  4. Bengt-ake Lundvall & Bjorn Johnson, 1994. "The Learning Economy," Industry and Innovation, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 1(2), pages 23-42.
  5. Richard C. Levin & Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1987. "Appropriating the Returns from Industrial Research and Development," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(3), pages 783-832.
  6. Richard Nelson, 1962. "The Link Between Science and Invention: The Case of the Transistor," NBER Chapters, in: The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity: Economic and Social Factors, pages 549-584 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Robin Cowan & Paul A. David & Dominique Foray, 1999. "The Explicit Economics of Knowledge Codification and Tacitness," Working Papers 99027, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  8. Cusumano, Michael A., 1992. "Shifting economies: From craft production to flexible systems and software factories," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 21(5), pages 453-480, October.
  9. Arora, Ashish & Gambardella, Alfonso, 1994. "The changing technology of technological change: general and abstract knowledge and the division of innovative labour," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 523-532, September.
  10. Josh Lerner & Jean Triole, 2000. "The Simple Economics of Open Source," NBER Working Papers 7600, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. Cowan, Robin & Foray, Dominique, 1997. "The Economics of Codification and the Diffusion of Knowledge," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 6(3), pages 595-622, September.
  12. Teece, David J., 1986. "Profiting from technological innovation: Implications for integration, collaboration, licensing and public policy," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 285-305, December.
  13. Winter, Sidney G, 1988. "On Coase, Competence, and the Corporation," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 163-80, Spring.
  14. Salvatore Torrisi, 1996. "Firm specialisation and growth. A study of the european software industry," LIUC Papers in Economics 35, Cattaneo University (LIUC).
  15. Michael C. Jensen & William H. Heckling, 1995. "Specific And General Knowledge, And Organizational Structure," Journal of Applied Corporate Finance, Morgan Stanley, vol. 8(2), pages 4-18.
  16. Malerba, Franco & Orsenigo, Luigi, 1996. "Schumpeterian patterns of innovation are technology-specific," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 25(3), pages 451-478, May.
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Cited by:
  1. Ulrich Witt & Tom Broekel & Thomas Brenner, 2007. "Knowledge and its Economic Characteristics - A Conceptual Clarification," Jena Economic Research Papers 2007-013, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Max-Planck-Institute of Economics.
  2. Michaela Trippl & Franz Tödtling & Lukas Lengauer, 2007. "The Vienna software cluster: Local buzz without global pipelines?," SRE-Disc sre-disc-2007_07, Institute for the Environment and Regional Development, Department of Socioeconomics, Vienna University of Economics and Business.
  3. Ron A. Boschma & Anet B.R. Weterings, 2005. "The effect of regional differences on the performance of software firms in the Netherlands," Papers in Evolutionary Economic Geography (PEEG) 0506, Utrecht University, Section of Economic Geography, revised Jan 2005.
  4. Aija Leiponen, 2005. "Core complementarities of the corporation: organization of an innovating firm," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(6), pages 351-365.
  5. Andersson, Martin & Karlsson, Charlie, 2004. "The Role of Accessibility for the Performance of Regional Innovation Systems," Working Paper Series in Economics and Institutions of Innovation 9, Royal Institute of Technology, CESIS - Centre of Excellence for Science and Innovation Studies.
  6. Florian Arun Taeube, 2004. "Proximities and Innovation Evidence from the Indian IT Industry in Bangalore," DRUID Working Papers 04-10, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.

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