Open Source Software and the Economics of Organization
AbstractOpen source software development has organizational characteristics that are out of the ordinary (e.g., flatter hierarchy, self-organization, self-regulation, and no ownership structure). The study suggests that this organization of work can be explained by combining the recently developed organizational theory of professions with the classic one of clubs. Still, the explanans falls within the broad rubric of the knowledge approach. The claim is in fact that this organization is at least as good as a firm in sharing rich types of information in real time because (a) constituents have symmetry of absorptive capacity, and (b) software itself is a capital structure embodying knowledge. Indeed, in this regard the study goes so far as to suggest that the distinction between input (knowledge) and output (software) is somewhat amorphous because knowledge and software are not only the common (spontaneous) standards, but also the nonrivalrous network products being shared.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by EconWPA in its series Industrial Organization with number 0304003.
Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: 05 Apr 2003
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Note: Type of Document - PDF; prepared on IBM PC; pages: 21
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open source software; economics of organization; economics of professions; clubs; technological clubs; new economy;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D2 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations
- H0 - Public Economics - - General
- K0 - Law and Economics - - General
- L0 - Industrial Organization - - General
- L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior
- L5 - Industrial Organization - - Regulation and Industrial Policy
- O3 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Technological Change; Research and Development; Intellectual Property Rights
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