'Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia' as a role model? Lessons for open innovation from an exploratory examination of the supposedly democratic-anarchic nature of Wikipedia

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'Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia' as a role model? Lessons for open innovation from an exploratory examination of the supposedly democratic-anarchic nature of Wikipedia
Authors: Gordon Müller-Seitz, Guido Reger [edit item]
Citation: International Journal of Technology Management 32 (1): 73-88. 2010.
Publication type: Journal article
Peer-reviewed: Yes
Database(s):
DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2010.035985.
Google Scholar cites: Citations
Link(s): Paper link
Added by Wikilit team: Added on initial load
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'Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia' as a role model? Lessons for open innovation from an exploratory examination of the supposedly democratic-anarchic nature of Wikipedia is a publication by Gordon Müller-Seitz, Guido Reger.


[edit] Abstract

Accounts of open source software (OSS) development projects frequently stress their democratic, sometimes even anarchic nature, in contrast to for-profit organisations. Given this observation, our research evaluates qualitative data from Wikipedia, a free online encyclopaedia whose development mechanism allegedly resembles that of OSS projects. Our research offers contributions to the field of open innovation research with three major findings. First, we shed light on Wikipedia as a phenomenon that has received scant attention from management scholars to date. Second, we show that OSS-related motivational mechanisms partially apply to Wikipedia participants. Third, our exploration of Wikipedia also reveals that its organisational mechanisms are often perceived as bureaucratic by contributors. This finding was unexpected since this type of problem is often associated with for-profit organisations. Such a situation risks attenuating the motivation of contributors and sheds a critical light on the nature of Wikipedia as a role model for open innovation processes.

[edit] Research questions

"This study aims to analyze the following claims in a realted realm: - traditional motivational theories are incapable of adequately explaining the extraordinatry engagement of these highly-dkilled developers.... - because of lack of enduring organisational structures and non-existent contracts, this realm is described as being democratic, open or even anarchic"

Research details

Topics: Contributor motivation, Policies and governance, Social order [edit item]
Domains: Information systems [edit item]
Theory type: Analysis [edit item]
Wikipedia coverage: Main topic [edit item]
Theories: "Undetermined" [edit item]
Research design: Case study [edit item]
Data source: Interview responses [edit item]
Collected data time dimension: N/A [edit item]
Unit of analysis: Article [edit item]
Wikipedia data extraction: Live Wikipedia [edit item]
Wikipedia page type: Article, Policy [edit item]
Wikipedia language: Not specified [edit item]

[edit] Conclusion

"We report that various insights from the field of OSS can be equally well applied to the realm of Wikipedia. Our best evidence for this is the fact that contributors are generally not reimbursed for their efforts. Consistent with our observations and in line with Deci (1975), this can ascribed to both extrinsic and intrinsic motivational stimuli as defined in earlier sections. In several cases, Wikipedia seems to follow conventional organizational patterns, particularly in respect of the unexpected bureaucratization. Our findings reflect this in terms of the establishment of different types of permissions, policies, and guidelines, as well as the creation of central institutions."

[edit] Comments

""We report that various insights from the field of OSS can be equally well applied to the realm of Wikipedia...In several cases, Wikipedia seems to follow conventional organizational patterns, particularly in respect of the unexpected bureaucratization. Our findings reflect this in terms of the establishment of different types of permissions, policies, and guidelines, as well as the creation of central institutions. " p. 471"


Further notes[edit]

Facts about "'Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia' as a role model? Lessons for open innovation from an exploratory examination of the supposedly democratic-anarchic nature of Wikipedia"RDF feed
AbstractAccounts of open source software (OSS) devAccounts of open source software (OSS) development projects frequently stress their democratic, sometimes even anarchic nature, in contrast to for-profit organisations. Given this observation, our research evaluates qualitative data from Wikipedia, a free online encyclopaedia whose development mechanism allegedly resembles that of OSS projects. Our research offers contributions to the field of open innovation research with three major findings. First, we shed light on Wikipedia as a phenomenon that has received scant attention from management scholars to date. Second, we show that OSS-related motivational mechanisms partially apply to Wikipedia participants. Third, our exploration of Wikipedia also reveals that its organisational mechanisms are often perceived as bureaucratic by contributors. This finding was unexpected since this type of problem is often associated with for-profit organisations. Such a situation risks attenuating the motivation of contributors and sheds a critical light on the nature of Wikipedia as a role model for open innovation processes. role model for open innovation processes.
Added by wikilit teamAdded on initial load +
Collected data time dimensionN/A +
Comments"We report that various insights from the "We report that various insights from the field of OSS can be equally well applied to the realm of Wikipedia...In several cases, Wikipedia seems to follow conventional organizational patterns, particularly in respect of the unexpected bureaucratization. Our findings reflect this in terms of the establishment of different types of permissions, policies, and guidelines, as well as the creation of central institutions. " p. 471creation of central institutions. " p. 471
ConclusionWe report that various insights from the fWe report that various insights from the field of OSS can be equally well applied to the realm of Wikipedia. Our best evidence for this is the fact that contributors are generally not reimbursed for their efforts. Consistent with our observations and in line with Deci (1975), this can ascribed to both extrinsic and intrinsic motivational stimuli as defined in earlier sections. In several cases, Wikipedia seems to follow conventional organizational patterns, particularly in respect of the unexpected bureaucratization. Our findings reflect this in terms of the establishment of different types of permissions, policies, and guidelines, as well as the creation of central institutions.l as the creation of central institutions.
Data sourceInterview responses +
Doi10.1504/IJTM.2010.035985 +
Google scholar urlhttp://scholar.google.com/scholar?ie=UTF-8&q=%22%27Wikipedia%2C%2Bthe%2Bfree%2Bencyclopedia%27%2Bas%2Ba%2Brole%2Bmodel%3F%2BLessons%2Bfor%2Bopen%2Binnovation%2Bfrom%2Ban%2Bexploratory%2Bexamination%2Bof%2Bthe%2Bsupposedly%2Bdemocratic-anarchic%2Bnature%2Bof%2BWikipedia%22 +
Has authorGordon Müller-Seitz + and Guido Reger +
Has domainInformation systems +
Has topicContributor motivation +, Policies and governance + and Social order +
Issue1 +
Pages73-88 +
Peer reviewedYes +
Publication typeJournal article +
Published inInternational Journal of Technology Management +
Research designCase study +
Research questionsThis study aims to analyze the following cThis study aims to analyze the following claims in a realted realm:

- traditional motivational theories are incapable of adequately explaining the extraordinatry engagement of these highly-dkilled developers....

- because of lack of enduring organisational structures and non-existent contracts, this realm is described as being democratic, open or even anarchic
as being democratic, open or even anarchic
Revid10,623 +
TheoriesUndetermined
Theory typeAnalysis +
Title'Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia' as a role model? Lessons for open innovation from an exploratory examination of the supposedly democratic-anarchic nature of Wikipedia
Unit of analysisArticle +
Urlhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1504/IJTM.2010.035985 +
Volume32 +
Wikipedia coverageMain topic +
Wikipedia data extractionLive Wikipedia +
Wikipedia languageNot specified +
Wikipedia page typeArticle + and Policy +
Year2010 +