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The Architecture of Participation: Does Code Architecture Mitigate Free Riding in the Open Source Development Model?

Author

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  • Carliss Y. Baldwin

    () (Harvard Business School, Baker Library, Boston, Massachusetts 02163)

  • Kim B. Clark

    () (Brigham Young University-Idaho, Rexburg, Idaho 83460)

Abstract

This paper argues that the architecture of a codebase is a critical factor that lies at the heart of the open source development process. We define two observable properties of an architecture: (1) modularity and (2) option value. Developers can often make informed judgments about modularity and option value from early, partially implemented code releases. We show that codebases that are more modular or have more option value (1) increase developers' incentives to join and remain involved in an open source development effort and (2) decrease the amount of free riding in equilibrium. These effects occur because modularity and option value create opportunities for the exchange of valuable work among developers, opportunities that do not exist in codebases that are not modular or have no option value.

Suggested Citation

  • Carliss Y. Baldwin & Kim B. Clark, 2006. "The Architecture of Participation: Does Code Architecture Mitigate Free Riding in the Open Source Development Model?," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(7), pages 1116-1127, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:52:y:2006:i:7:p:1116-1127
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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/mnsc.1060.0546
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lerner, Josh & Tirole, Jean, 2002. "Some Simple Economics of Open," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 50(2), pages 197-234, June.
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    5. Carliss Y. Baldwin & Kim B. Clark, 2000. "Design Rules, Volume 1: The Power of Modularity," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262024667, January.
    6. Sonali K. Shah, 2006. "Motivation, Governance, and the Viability of Hybrid Forms in Open Source Software Development," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 52(7), pages 1000-1014, July.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Gächter, Simon & von Krogh, Georg & Haefliger, Stefan, 2010. "Initiating private-collective innovation: The fragility of knowledge sharing," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(7), pages 893-906, September.
    2. Simon Gaechter & Georg von Krogh & Stefan Haefliger, 2006. "Private-Collective Innovation and the Fragility of Knowledge Sharing," Discussion Papers 2006-21, The Centre for Decision Research and Experimental Economics, School of Economics, University of Nottingham.
    3. Baldwin, Carliss & Hienerth, Christoph & von Hippel, Eric, 2006. "How user innovations become commercial products: A theoretical investigation and case study," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(9), pages 1291-1313, November.
    4. Preißner, Stephanie & Raasch, Christina & Schweisfurth, Tim, 2017. "Is necessity the mother of disruption?," Kiel Working Papers 2097, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    5. 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, pages 54-68.
    6. Eric von Hippel & Jeroen P. J. de Jong & Stephen Flowers, 2012. "Comparing Business and Household Sector Innovation in Consumer Products: Findings from a Representative Study in the United Kingdom," Management Science, INFORMS, pages 1669-1681.
    7. Haeussler, Carolin, 2009. "The Economics of Knowledge Regulation: An Empirical Analysis of Knowledge Flows," Discussion Papers in Business Administration 8971, University of Munich, Munich School of Management.
    8. Ramon Casadesus-Masanell & Gastón Llanes, 2011. "Mixed Source," Management Science, INFORMS, pages 1212-1230.
    9. de Jong, Jeroen P.J. & von Hippel, Eric, 2009. "Transfers of user process innovations to process equipment producers: A study of Dutch high-tech firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(7), pages 1181-1191, September.
    10. 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.
    11. Subramanyam, Ramanath & Xia, Mu, 2006. "Free/Libre Open Source Software Development in Developing and Developed Countries: An Exploratory Study," Working Papers 06-0110, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Business.
    12. Li, Yung-Ming & Lee, Yi-Lin, 2010. "Pricing peer-produced services: Quality, capacity, and competition issues," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 207(3), pages 1658-1668, December.
    13. M. Markus, 2007. "The governance of free/open source software projects: monolithic, multidimensional, or configurational?," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 11(2), pages 151-163, May.
    14. repec:eee:respol:v:46:y:2017:i:6:p:1062-1070 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Catalin STRIMBEI & Octavian DOSPINESCU & Roxana-Marina STRAINU & Alexandra NISTOR, 2015. "Software Architectures – Present and Visions," Informatica Economica, Academy of Economic Studies - Bucharest, Romania, vol. 19(4), pages 13-27.
    16. Bing Bai & Byungjoon Yoo & Xiuquan Deng & Iljoo Kim & Dehua Gao, 2016. "Linking routines to the evolution of IT capability on agent-based modeling and simulation: a dynamic perspective," Computational and Mathematical Organization Theory, Springer, vol. 22(2), pages 184-211, June.
    17. Blecker, Thorsten & Abdelkafi, Nizar & Raasch, Christina, 2008. "Enabling and Sustaining Collaborative Innovation," MPRA Paper 8964, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    18. Ramon Casadesus-Masanell & Gastón Llanes, 2011. "Mixed Source," Management Science, INFORMS, pages 1212-1230.
    19. 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.
    20. Landini, Fabio, 2012. "Technology, property rights and organizational diversity in the software industry," Structural Change and Economic Dynamics, Elsevier, vol. 23(2), pages 137-150.
    21. Franzoni, Chiara & Sauermann, Henry, 2014. "Crowd science: The organization of scientific research in open collaborative projects," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 43(1), pages 1-20.
    22. Stefan Haefliger & Georg von Krogh & Sebastian Spaeth, 2008. "Code Reuse in Open Source Software," Management Science, INFORMS, pages 180-193.
    23. repec:oup:indcch:v:26:y:2017:i:4:p:647-665. is not listed on IDEAS
    24. Jeroen de Jong & Eric von Hippel, 2010. "Open, distributed and user-centered: Towards a paradigm shift in innovation policy," Scales Research Reports H201009, EIM Business and Policy Research.

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