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Capability Coordination in Modular Organization: Voluntary FS/OSS Production and the Case of Debian GNU/Linux

Author

Listed:
  • Giampaolo Garzarelli

    (University of Rome, 'La Sapienza')

  • Roberto Galoppini

    (ACME Solutions, s.r.l.)

Abstract

The paper analyzes voluntary Free Software/Open Source Software (FS/OSS) organization of work. The empirical setting considered is the Debian GNU/Linux operating system. The paper finds that the production process is hierarchical notwithstanding the modular (nearly decomposable) architecture of software and of voluntary FS/OSS organization. But voluntary FS/OSS project organization is not hierarchical for the same reasons suggested by the most familiar theories of economic organization: hierarchy is justified for coordination of continuous change, rather than for the direction of static production. Hierarchy is ultimately the overhead attached to the benefits engendered by modular organization.

Suggested Citation

  • Giampaolo Garzarelli & Roberto Galoppini, 2003. "Capability Coordination in Modular Organization: Voluntary FS/OSS Production and the Case of Debian GNU/Linux," Industrial Organization 0312005, EconWPA.
  • Handle: RePEc:wpa:wuwpio:0312005 Note: Type of Document - pdf; prepared on WinXP; pages: 46
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Harison, Elad & Koski, Heli, 2010. "Applying open innovation in business strategies: Evidence from Finnish software firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, pages 351-359.
    2. Harison, Elad & Koski, Heli, 2006. "Innovative Software Business Strategies: Evidence from Finnish Firms," Discussion Papers 1042, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
    3. Sadowski, Bert M. & Sadowski-Rasters, Gaby & Duysters, Geert, 2008. "Transition of governance in a mature open software source community: Evidence from the Debian case," Information Economics and Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(4), pages 323-332, December.
    4. Giampaolo Garzarelli, 2008. "The division of labor and voluntary production," Economía, Instituto de Investigaciones Económicas y Sociales (IIES). Facultad de Ciencias Económicas y Sociales. Universidad de Los Andes. Mérida, Venezuela, vol. 33(25), pages 47-60, january-j.
    5. Rullani, Francesco, 2005. "The three dimensions of a communitarian institution. The Open Source Software Community Case," AICCON Working Papers 16-2005, Associazione Italiana per la Cultura della Cooperazione e del Non Profit.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Modularity; hierarchy; capabilities; coordination costs; software.;

    JEL classification:

    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • L22 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Organization and Market Structure
    • L23 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Organization of Production
    • L86 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Information and Internet Services; Computer Software
    • M11 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Production Management

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