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

  • Paola Giuri

    ()

    (Department of Management, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy)

  • Matteo Ploner

    (Department of Economics, Trento University, Trento, Italy)

  • Francesco Rullani

    ()

    (Department of Innovation and Organizational Economics, Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg, Denmark)

  • Salvatore Torrisi

    ()

    (KITES Bocconi University, Milan, Italy - Department of Management, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy)

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.

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File URL: ftp://ftp.unibocconi.it/pub/RePEc/cri/papers/KitesWP17.pdf
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Paper provided by KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy in its series KITeS Working Papers with number 017.

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Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2009
Date of revision: Jul 2009
Handle: RePEc:cri:cespri:kites17_wp
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  17. Harhoff, Dietmar & Henkel, Joachim & von Hippel, Eric, 2003. "Profiting from voluntary information spillovers: how users benefit by freely revealing their innovations," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(10), pages 1753-1769, December.
  18. Brusoni, Stefano & Prencipe, Andrea, 2001. "Unpacking the Black Box of Modularity: Technologies, Products and Organizations," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 10(1), pages 179-205, March.
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