IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

Skills, Division of Labor and Performance in Collective Inventions. Evidence from the Open Source Software

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

This paper investigates the role of skills and the division of labor among participants in collective inventions. Our analysis draws on a large sample of projects registered at, the world’s largest incubator of open source software activity. We explore the hypothesis that the level of skills of participants and their skill variety are important for project performance. Skill heterogeneity across participants is in line with two fundamental organizational features of the open source development model: team work and modular design. We also test the hypothesis whether the level of modularization of project activities is an important predictor of performance. The results provide support to the hypothesis that the skill level is important for the survival of open source projects. Moreover, we found that skill heterogeneity is positive for innovation. Finally, design modularity is positively associated with the performance of the project.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy in its series LEM Papers Series with number 2004/19.

in new window

Date of creation: 01 Oct 2004
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ssa:lemwps:2004/19
Contact details of provider: Postal: Piazza dei Martiri della Liberta, 33, 56127 Pisa
Phone: +39-50-883343
Fax: +39-50-883344
Web page:

More information through EDIRC

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Fershtman, Chaim & Gandal, Neil, 2004. "The Determinants of Output Per Contributor in Open Source Projects: An Empirical Examination," CEPR Discussion Papers 4329, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Jean-Michel Dalle & Paul David, 2005. "The Allocation of Software Development Resources In ‘Open Source’ Production Mode," Industrial Organization 0502011, EconWPA.
  3. Samer Faraj & Lee Sproull, 2000. "Coordinating Expertise in Software Development Teams," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 46(12), pages 1554-1568, December.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ssa:lemwps:2004/19. 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: ()

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.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with 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 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.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.