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Adhocratic governance in the Internet age: a case of Wikipedia
Abstract In recent years, a new realm has appeared In recent years, a new realm has appeared for the study of political and sociological phenomena: the Internet. This article will analyze the decision-making processes of one of the largest online communities, Wikipedia. Founded in 2001, Wikipedia--now among the top-10 most popular sites on the Internet--has succeeded in attracting and organizing millions of volunteers and creating the world's largest encyclopedia. To date, however, little study has been done of Wikipedia's governance. There is substantial confusion about its decision-making structure. The organization's governance has been compared to many decision-making and political systems-from democracy to dictatorship, from bureaucracy to anarchy. It is the purpose of this article to go beyond the earlier simplistic descriptions of Wikipedia's governance in order to advance the study of online governance, and of organizations more generally. As the evidence will show, while Wikipedia's governance shows elements common to many traditional governance models, it appears to be closest to the organizational structure known as adhocracy.ganizational structure known as adhocracy.
Added by wikilit team Added on initial load  +
Collected data time dimension Longitudinal  +
Comments The English-language Wikipedia shows many The English-language Wikipedia shows many signs of being an adhocracy in which the editors not only “capture opportunities,” but they also can create those opportunities, since editors can change all policies and so enjoy an unprecedented degree of empowerment.oy an unprecedented degree of empowerment.
Conclusion The English-language Wikipedia shows many The English-language Wikipedia shows many signs of being an adhocracy—one closely connected to open-source development models found in the FOSS movement. Editors at Wikipedia share the adhocratic values of flat hierarchy, decentralization, little managerial control, and ad-hoc creation of informal multidisciplinary teams. Like individuals throughout most of the FOSS movement, they are highly motivated—not by potential financial gain, but by their project's ideology. In traditional adhocracies, individuals are bound by rules that cannot be altered; at Wikipedia, by contrast, there is no rule that cannot be altered if the community so desires. In Wikipedia's adhocracy, the editors not only “capture opportunities,” but they also can create those opportunities, since editors can change all policies and so enjoy an unprecedented degree of empowerment.oy an unprecedented degree of empowerment.
Data source Direct observation  + , Wikipedia pages  +
Doi 10.1080/19331681.2010.489408 +
Google scholar url http://scholar.google.com/scholar?ie=UTF-8&q=%22Adhocratic%2Bgovernance%2Bin%2Bthe%2BInternet%2Bage%3A%2Ba%2Bcase%2Bof%2BWikipedia%22  +
Has author Piotr Konieczny +
Has domain Business +
Has topic Policies and governance +
Issue 4  +
Pages 263-283  +
Peer reviewed Yes  +
Publication type Journal article  +
Published in Journal of Information Technology & Politics +
Research design Case study  +
Research questions This article will analyze the decision-makThis article will analyze the decision-making processes of one of the largest online communities, Wikipedia. Founded in 2001, Wikipedia. It is the purpose of this article to go beyond the earlier simplistic descriptions of Wikipedia's governance in order to advance the study of online governance, and of organizations more generally.ance, and of organizations more generally.
Revid 10,650  +
Theories Mintzberg's (2007) adhocracy concept, which emphasizes that, in adhocratic organizations, strategies just “emerge” and are not consciously decided on.
Theory type Analysis  +
Title Adhocratic governance in the Internet age: a case of Wikipedia
Unit of analysis Website  +
Url http://www.informaworld.com/10.1080/19331681.2010.489408  +
Volume 7  +
Wikipedia coverage Main topic  +
Wikipedia data extraction Live Wikipedia  +
Wikipedia language English  +
Wikipedia page type Policy  + , Collaboration and coordination  + , Conflict resolution  +
Year 2010  +
Creation dateThis property is a special property in this wiki. 15 March 2012 20:02:45  +
Categories Policies and governance  + , Business  + , Publications  +
Modification dateThis property is a special property in this wiki. 30 January 2014 20:20:02  +
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