Social capital in distributed system development: A case of grid development in particle physics


This paper examines dimensions of social capital in the distributed collaborative development of the

UK particle physics Grid. It is shown that the GridPP project effectively draws upon social capital

rooted in the tradition and culture of particle physics experiments, characterized with trust, equality,

shared vision, collaboration, and pragmatism. These factors contribute to overcoming the challenges

in the creation and sharing of knowledge in the development of the Grid, a cutting-edge technology

that has to be delivered as a working system with limited time and resources. This case sheds lights

on, and provides a good example of, the importance of social capital in distributed systems


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