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Capability Coordination in Modular Organization: Voluntary FS/OSS Production and the Case of Debian GNU/Linux

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Author Info

  • Giampaolo Garzarelli

    (University of Rome, 'La Sapienza')

  • Roberto Galoppini

    (ACME Solutions, s.r.l.)

Abstract

The 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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File URL: http://128.118.178.162/eps/io/papers/0312/0312005.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by EconWPA in its series Industrial Organization with number 0312005.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: 21 Dec 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpio:0312005

Note: Type of Document - pdf; prepared on WinXP; pages: 46
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Web page: http://128.118.178.162

Related research

Keywords: Modularity; hierarchy; capabilities; coordination costs; software.;

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Cited by:
  1. Harison, Elad & Koski, Heli, 2006. "Innovative Software Business Strategies: Evidence from Finnish Firms," Discussion Papers 1042, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. 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.
  5. 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).

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