Of Hackers and Hairdressers: Modularity and the Organizational Economics of Open-source Collaboration
AbstractBy employing modularity theory, we study the general phenomenon of open-source collaboration, which includes, e.g., collective invention and open science besides open-source software production. We focus on how open-source collaboration coordinates the division of labor. We find that open-source collaboration is an organizational form based on the exchange of effort rather than of products where suppliers of effort self-identify like suppliers of products in a market rather than accepting assignments like employees in a firm. Our finding suggests that actual open-source software (and other) projects are neither bazaars nor cathedrals, but hybrids manifesting both voluntary production and conscious planning.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Connecticut, Department of Economics in its series Working papers with number 2008-53.
Length: 40 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2008
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Industry and Innovation 15(2) 125-143 (April 2008) (Special Issue: Online Communities and Open Innovation) with minor revisions.
Note: Previous versions of this paper have benefited from the feedback received from Davide Consoli, Martin Michlmayr, audiences at DRUID June 18-20, 2006,Copenhagen and EURAM May 16-19 2007, Paris, seminar participants at Wits on April 25, 2007, and three referees of this journal.
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Innovation; Integrality; Intellectual Division of Labor; Modularity; Open Source Software; Theory of the Firm.;
Other versions of this item:
- Richard Langlois & Giampaolo Garzarelli, 2008. "Of Hackers and Hairdressers: Modularity and the Organizational Economics of Open-source Collaboration," Industry & Innovation, Taylor and Francis Journals, vol. 15(2), pages 125-143.
- D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, and Operations
- D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
- L17 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Open Source Products and Markets
- L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
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- 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.
- Garzarelli, Giampaolo & Holian, Matthew J., 2011. "Parchment, guns, and the problem of governance," MPRA Paper 43724, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Giampaolo Garzarelli, 2008. "The division of labor and voluntary production," Economía, Instituto de Investigaciones Económicas y Sociales (IIES). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Sociales. Universidad de Los Andes. Mérida, Venezuela, vol. 33(25), pages 47-60, january-j.
- Garzarelli, Giampaolo & Fontanella, Riccardo, 2010.
"Open Source Software Production, Spontaneous Input, and Organizational Learning,"
22949, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- 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.
- Garzarelli, Giampaolo & Limam, Yasmina Reem & Thomassen, Bjørn, 2007. "Open Source Software and Economic Growth: A Classical Division of Labor Perspective," MPRA Paper 3849, University Library of Munich, Germany.
- Fabio Landini, 2012. "Institutional Change and Information Production," Department of Economics University of Siena 645, Department of Economics, University of Siena.
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