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Designing, Producing and Using Artifacts in the Structuration of Firm Knowledge: Evidence from Proprietary and Open Processes of Software Development


  • Alessandro Rossi
  • Marco Zamarian

    () (DISA, Faculty of Economics, Trento University)


In the paper we study the recursive nature of artifacts in the production and the socialization of organizational knowledge. In this respect, artifacts are interpreted both as the product (output) of organizational knowledge processes and, at the same time, as tools easing the development of other artifacts. We compare different practices of knowledge creation and diffusion in complex software production processes with the aim of understanding the effects of interplay between (1) coordination and control practices, (2) mediating artifacts and development tools, and (3) interactions between different actors in the development process. We aim at identifying the peculiar traits emerging in contrasting development paradigms, namely the closed, fully proprietary one widespread in the gaming console industry, and the open model of free/open source software development.

Suggested Citation

  • Alessandro Rossi & Marco Zamarian, 2006. "Designing, Producing and Using Artifacts in the Structuration of Firm Knowledge: Evidence from Proprietary and Open Processes of Software Development," ROCK Working Papers 036, Department of Computer and Management Sciences, University of Trento, Italy, revised 12 Jun 2008.
  • Handle: RePEc:trt:rockwp:036

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