IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

L'allocazione del potere decisionale nelle imprese open source. Un'analisi empirica


  • Massimo G. Colombo
  • Evila Piva
  • Cristina Rossi Lamastra


The paper analyzes a peculiar managerial practice, the delegation of decision authority to employees. The practice could enable firms to leverage the external knowledge developed by communities of users and developers. The work focuses on the interaction between firms doing business with open-source software firms ("OS firms") and the community of OS developers. Specifically, we study the determinants of delegating decisional authority to employees for collaboration between the firm and the OS community. The paper draws on contributions from optimal delegation literature to formulate a number of theoretical hypotheses, which we tested using the data collected on 316 European OS firms. The estimates of a Heckman two-stage probit model indicate that the greater the strategic importance of OS for the firm, the greater the probability of delegation. Conversely, the probability is lower when the firm has accumulated more experience through prior interactions with the community and the room for divergence between the decisions made by employees and the choices that maximize firm’s pay-offs.

Suggested Citation

  • Massimo G. Colombo & Evila Piva & Cristina Rossi Lamastra, 2010. "L'allocazione del potere decisionale nelle imprese open source. Un'analisi empirica," ECONOMIA E POLITICA INDUSTRIALE, FrancoAngeli Editore, vol. 2010(2), pages 63-93.
  • Handle: RePEc:fan:polipo:v:html10.3280/poli2010-002004

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Single articles can be downloaded buying download credits, for info:

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Brander, James & Krugman, Paul, 1983. "A 'reciprocal dumping' model of international trade," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(3-4), pages 313-321, November.
    2. Michael Spence, 1976. "Product Selection, Fixed Costs, and Monopolistic Competition," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 43(2), pages 217-235.
    3. Massimo Del Gatto & Giordano Mion & Gianmarco I.P. Ottaviano, 2006. "Trade Integration, Firm Selection and the Costs of Non-Europe," Development Working Papers 218, Centro Studi Luca d'Agliano, University of Milano.
    4. David L. Carr & James R. Markusen & Keith E. Maskus, 2001. "Estimating the Knowledge-Capital Model of the Multinational Enterprise," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(3), pages 693-708, June.
    5. Andrew B. Bernard & Jonathan Eaton & J. Bradford Jensen & Samuel Kortum, 2003. "Plants and Productivity in International Trade," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1268-1290, September.
    6. James R. Markusen, 2004. "Multinational Firms and the Theory of International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262633078, January.
    7. Masahisa Fujita & Paul Krugman & Anthony J. Venables, 2001. "The Spatial Economy: Cities, Regions, and International Trade," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262561476, January.
    8. Marc J. Melitz & Gianmarco I. P. Ottaviano, 2008. "Market Size, Trade, and Productivity," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(1), pages 295-316.
    9. Elhanan Helpman & Marc J. Melitz & Stephen R. Yeaple, 2004. "Export Versus FDI with Heterogeneous Firms," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(1), pages 300-316, March.
    10. Gianmarco Ottaviano & Takatoshi Tabuchi & Jacques-FranÁois Thisse, 2002. "Agglomeration and Trade Revisited," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(2), pages 409-436, May.
    11. Dixit, Avinash K & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1977. "Monopolistic Competition and Optimum Product Diversity," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 67(3), pages 297-308, June.
    12. J.Peter Neary, 2001. "Of Hype and Hyperbolas: Introducing the New Economic Geography," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 39(2), pages 536-561, June.
    13. Markusen, James R., 1981. "Trade and the gains from trade with imperfect competition," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(4), pages 531-551, November.
    14. Krugman, Paul, 1991. "Increasing Returns and Economic Geography," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 99(3), pages 483-499, June.
    15. Colin Lawrence & Pablo T. Spiller, 1983. "Product Diversity, Economies of Scale, and International Trade," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 98(1), pages 63-83.
    16. Brander, James A., 1981. "Intra-industry trade in identical commodities," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(1), pages 1-14, February.
    17. BEHRENS, Kristian & LAMORGESE, Andrea R. & OTTAVIANO, Gianmarco I.P. & TABUCHI, Takatoshi, 2005. "Testing the ‘home market effect’ in a multi-country world," CORE Discussion Papers 2005055, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    18. Giorgio Barba Navaretti & Anthony J. Venables, 2006. "Multinational Firms in the World Economy," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 7832.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Delega decisionale; imprese OS; accesso a conoscenza esterna; teoria dell’agenzia;

    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
    • D8 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty
    • L17 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Open Source Products and Markets


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:fan:polipo:v:html10.3280/poli2010-002004. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Angelo Ventriglia). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.