Skills, Division of Labor and Performance in Collective Inventions. Evidence from the Open Source Software
AbstractThis paper investigates the role of 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 explore the hypothesis that the level of skills of participants and their skill variety are important for project performance. Skill heterogeneity across participants is in line with two fundamental organizational features of the open source development model: team work and modular design. We also test the hypothesis whether the level of modularization of project activities is an important predictor of performance. The results provide support to the hypothesis that the skill level is important for the survival of open source projects. Moreover, we found that skill heterogeneity is positive for innovation. Finally, design modularity is positively associated with the performance of the project.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy in its series LEM Papers Series with number 2004/19.
Date of creation: 01 Oct 2004
Date of revision:
Software; Technological innovation; Human capital; Modularity;
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2004-10-18 (All new papers)
- NEP-BEC-2004-10-18 (Business Economics)
- NEP-DCM-2004-10-18 (Discrete Choice Models)
- NEP-ENT-2004-10-18 (Entrepreneurship)
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