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Skills, division of labor and performance in collective inventions: Evidence from open source software

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  • Giuri, Paola
  • Ploner, Matteo
  • Rullani, Francesco
  • Torrisi, Salvatore

Abstract

This paper investigates the 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 test the hypothesis that skill variety of participants is associated with project performance. We also explore whether the level of modularization of project activities is correlated with performance. Our econometric estimations show that skill heterogeneity is associated with project survival and performance. However, the relationship between skill diversity and performance is non-monotonic. Design modularity is also positively associated with the performance of the project. Finally, the interaction between skill heterogeneity and modularity is negatively associated with performance.

Suggested Citation

  • Giuri, Paola & Ploner, Matteo & Rullani, Francesco & Torrisi, Salvatore, 2010. "Skills, division of labor and performance in collective inventions: Evidence from open source software," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 54-68, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:indorg:v:28:y:2010:i:1:p:54-68
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    Cited by:

    1. Engelhardt, Sebastian v. & Freytag, Andreas, 2013. "Institutions, culture, and open source," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 95(C), pages 90-110.
    2. Davide Consoli & Dioni Elche, 2013. "The evolving knowledge base of professional service sectors," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 23(2), pages 477-501, April.
    3. Consoli, Davide & Rentocchini, Francesco, 2015. "A taxonomy of multi-industry labour force skills," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(5), pages 1116-1132.
    4. Malwina Mejer, 2012. "The impact of knowledge diversity on inventive performance at European universities," iCite Working Papers 2013-004, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    5. Dornbusch, Friedrich & Neuhäusler, Peter, 2015. "Composition of inventor teams and technological progress – The role of collaboration between academia and industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(7), pages 1360-1375.
    6. Belenzon, Sharon & Schankerman, Mark, 2015. "Motivation and sorting of human capital in open innovation," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 58514, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    7. 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.
    8. Consoli, Davide & Elche-Hortelano, Dioni, 2010. "Variety in the knowledge base of Knowledge Intensive Business Services," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(10), pages 1303-1310, December.
    9. Rullani, Francesco & Haefliger, Stefan, 2013. "The periphery on stage: The intra-organizational dynamics in online communities of creation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(4), pages 941-953.
    10. Sebastian von Engelhardt & Andreas Freytag & Christoph Schulz, 2013. "On the Geographic Allocation of Open Source Software Activities," International Journal of Innovation in the Digital Economy (IJIDE), IGI Global, vol. 4(2), pages 25-39, April.
    11. Sharon Belenzon & Mark Schankerman, 2015. "Motivation and sorting of human capital in open innovation," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(6), pages 795-820, June.
    12. Wang, Chengsi & Zudenkova, Galina, 2016. "Non-monotonic group-size effect in repeated provision of public goods," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 89(C), pages 116-128.
    13. Francesco Rullani & Francesco Zirpoli, 2013. "Coordination of joint search in distributed innovation processes: Lessons from the effects of initial code release in Open Source Software development," Working Papers 20, Department of Management, Università Ca' Foscari Venezia.
    14. repec:kap:jtecht:v:42:y:2017:i:3:d:10.1007_s10961-016-9510-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. repec:bla:stratm:v:37:y:2016:i:13:p:2589-2610 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. Consoli,Davide & Elche,Dioni, 2014. "An analysis of the knowledge base of Scientific Research & Development Business Services," INGENIO (CSIC-UPV) Working Paper Series 201401, INGENIO (CSIC-UPV).
    17. Melero, Eduardo & Palomeras, Neus, 2015. "The Renaissance Man is not dead! The role of generalists in teams of inventors," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 154-167.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Software Technological innovation Human capital Modularity;

    JEL classification:

    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software

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