Capability Coordination in Modular Organization: Voluntary FS/OSS Production and the Case of Debian GNU/Linux
AbstractThe paper analyzes voluntary Free Software/Open Source Software (FS/OSS) organization of work. The empirical setting considered is the Debian GNU/Linux operating system. The paper finds that the production process is hierarchical notwithstanding the modular (nearly decomposable) architecture of software and of voluntary FS/OSS organization. But voluntary FS/OSS project organization is not hierarchical for the same reasons suggested by the most familiar theories of economic organization: hierarchy is justified for coordination of continuous change, rather than for the direction of static production. Hierarchy is ultimately the overhead attached to the benefits engendered by modular organization.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by EconWPA in its series Industrial Organization with number 0312005.
Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: 21 Dec 2003
Date of revision:
Note: Type of Document - pdf; prepared on WinXP; pages: 46
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Modularity; hierarchy; capabilities; coordination costs; software.;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
- L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
- L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
- L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
- M11 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting - - Business Administration - - - Production Management
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2004-01-05 (All new papers)
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- Harison, Elad & Koski, Heli, 2006. "Innovative Software Business Strategies: Evidence from Finnish Firms," Discussion Papers 1042, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
- Harison, Elad & Koski, Heli, 2010. "Applying open innovation in business strategies: Evidence from Finnish software firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(3), pages 351-359, April.
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- 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.
- Sadowski, Bert & Sadowski-Rasters, Gaby & Duysters, Geert, 2007.
"Transition of Governance in a Mature Open Software Source Community: Evidence from the Debian Case,"
MERIT Working Papers
039, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
- Sadowski, Bert M. & Sadowski-Rasters, Gaby & Duysters, Geert, 2008. "Transition of governance in a mature open software source community: Evidence from the Debian case," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 323-332, December.
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