First Monday: Management and Virtual Decentralised Networks: The Linux Project

This paper examines the latest of paradigms – the
Virtual Network(ed) Organisation – and whether geographically
dispersed knowledge workers can virtually collaborate for a project
under no central planning. Co-ordination, management and the role
of knowledge arise as the central areas of focus. The Linux Project
and its development model are selected as a case of analysis and
the critical success factors of this organisational design are
identified. The study proceeds to the formulation of a framework
that can be applied to all kinds of virtual decentralised work and
concludes that value creation is maximized when there is intense
interaction and uninhibited sharing of information between the
organisation and the surrounding community. Therefore, the
potential success or failure of this organisational paradigm
depends on the degree of dedication and involvement by the
surrounding community.


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