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Expressing territoriality in online collaborative environments
Abstract Territoriality, the expression of ownershiTerritoriality, the expression of ownership towards an object, can emerge when social actors occupy a shared social space. In this research, I extend the study of territoriality beyond previous work in physical space in two key ways: (1) the object in question is non-physical and (2) the social context is an online collaborative activity. To do this, I observe the emergence of characteristic territorial behaviors (e.g. marking, control, defense) in 3 studies of social software systems. Study 1 describes a qualitative interview study observes the behaviors of 15 Maintainers, a small group of lead users on Wikipedia. Findings suggest that The Maintainers communicate their feelings of ownership to other editors by appropriating features of the system, such as user templates and activity monitoring, to preserve control over the articles they maintain and communicate their knowledge of the article editing process to potential contributors. Study 2 describes a qualitative interview study observing the behaviors of 33 users of social tagging systems deployed within a large enterprise organization. Findings suggest that self-designated experts express territoriality regarding their knowledge and their status within the organization through their tagging strategies. Study 3 describes a field study of expert and novice users of a mobile social tagging system deployed within an art museum. Findings suggest that compared to novices, experts feel more personal ownership towards the museum and their tags and express territoriality regarding their expertise through higher levels of participation and are more likely to vote down novice-generated tags in a defensive manner. My dissertation draws from observations from these three studies to construct a theoretical framework for online territoriality to provide researchers and designers of groupware with guidelines with which to encourage ownership expression when appropriate. Topics for discussion and future work include clarifying the characteristics of non-physical territories, closer study of the possible reactions to territoriality, and describing the potential of territoriality as design resource for motivating experts to contribute.urce for motivating experts to contribute.
Added by wikilit team Added on initial load  +
Collected data time dimension N/A  +
Comments Territoriality is an emergent pattern of behaviors and attitudes that can arise when individuals of varying expertise come together for a cooperative goal.
Conclusion In summary, I believe this dissertation acIn summary, I believe this dissertation accomplishes the following. First, I demonstrate that territoriality can be expressed in virtual space regarding non-physical objects, such as collaboratively created content. Second, I observe that users who hold expertise may be territorial about their knowledge and signal their position through expressions of ownership. Third, I uncover initial results that suggest that territoriality may help to individuals to navigate collaborations where coordination needs are high and tasks are complex. Using these findings, I propose a number of design strategies and then outline an initial theoretical framework describing motivating characteristics of online territoriality. Territoriality is an emergent pattern of behaviors and attitudes that can arise when individuals of varying expertise come together for a cooperative goal. These behaviors can help to define the boundaries of a social group, manage complex coordination by reducing ambiguity, strengthen oneʼs identity as an expert and signal feelings of ownership about contribution as well as a collaborative space as a whole. However, it is important to also ensure that novice contributors do not feel marginalized or excluded because of the territorial expressions from expert collaborators. I view the research challenges facing the study of online territoriality are opportunities in developing broadly applicable social science theory that helps designers and researchers develop better ways for users become more aware of their actions in collaborative activity. The challenge for designers lies in managing the inevitable points of tension that will arise when members of different groups assert their particular perspectives and others, in turn, feel threatened by the different approach. Successful collaborative groups will need to strike this balance in order to remain healthy and vital.ance in order to remain healthy and vital.
Conference location United States, New York +
Data source Interview responses  +
Google scholar url http://scholar.google.com/scholar?ie=UTF-8&q=%22Expressing%2Bterritoriality%2Bin%2Bonline%2Bcollaborative%2Benvironments%22  +
Has author Jennifer Thom-Santelli +
Has domain Information systems +
Has topic Other participation outcomes +
Peer reviewed Yes  +
Publication type Thesis  +
Published in Cornell University +
Research design Grounded theory  +
Research questions Territoriality, the expression of ownershiTerritoriality, the expression of ownership towards an object, can emerge when social actors occupy a shared social space. In this research, I extend the study of territoriality beyond previous work in physical space in two key ways: 1) the object in question is non-physical and 2) the social context is an online collaborative activity. To do this, I observe the emergence of characteristic territorial behaviors (e.g. marking, control, defense) in 3 studies of social software systems. Study 1 describes a qualitative interview study observes the behaviors of 15 Maintainers, a small group of lead users on Wikipedia. Findings suggest that The Maintainers communicate their feelings of ownership to other editors by appropriating features of the system, such as user templates and activity monitoring, to preserve control over the articles they maintain and communicate their knowledge of the article editing process to potential contributors. Study 2 describes a qualitative interview study observing the behaviors of 33 users of social tagging systems deployed within a large enterprise organization. Findings suggest that self-designated experts express territoriality regarding their knowledge and their status within the organization through their tagging strategies. Study 3 describes a field study of expert and novice users of a mobile social tagging system deployed within an art museum. Findings suggest that compared to novices, experts feel more personal ownership towards the museum and their tags and express territoriality regarding their expertise through higher levels of participation and are more likely to vote down novice-generated tags in a defensive manner.vice-generated tags in a defensive manner.
Revid 10,764  +
Theories In this chapter, I first integrate the finIn this chapter, I first integrate the findings of the three case studies and then describe more specific design goals drawn from these observations. Next, I present the separate factors of the theoretical framework and then discuss future directions and the contribution of the thesis. As stated in the introduction, the contribution of this dissertation is also theoretical in nature. Based on the collected data and the prior literature on the topic of territoriality, I begin to propose a descriptive theoretical framework for the factors influencing the expression of territoriality in online environments. The framework is socio-technical in nature and serves to organize, categorize and understand the context in which territoriality develops and emerges. By doing this, I attempt to better observe how existing social behaviors may simultaneously altered and reproduced by the design and appropriation of social systems. An alternative approach in validating this framework would also involve observing on a larger scale, through more quantitative means, how territoriality might be expressed. In the case of Wikipedia, one could take a theoretically informed sample of article talk history (i.e. Featured Articles, articles on a certain content area, WikiProjects) and compare it with a relatively random set of article talk history through an analysis of linguistic markers of territoriality. However, it is important to also ensure that novice contributors do not feel marginalized or excluded because of the territorial expressions from expert collaborators. I view the research challenges facing the study of online territoriality are opportunities in developing broadly applicable social science theory that helps designers and researchers develop better ways for users become more aware of their actions in collaborative activity. The challenge for designers lies in managing the inevitable points of tension that will arise when members of different groups assert their particular perspectives and others, in turn, feel threatened by the different approach. Successful collaborative groups will need to strike this balance in order to remain healthy and vital.ance in order to remain healthy and vital.
Theory type Analysis  + , Design and action  +
Title Expressing territoriality in online collaborative environments
Unit of analysis N/A  +
Url http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb?did=1975863181&Fmt=7&clientId=10306&RQT=309&VName=PQD  +
Wikipedia coverage Case  +
Wikipedia data extraction N/A  +
Wikipedia language English  +
Wikipedia page type N/A  +
Year 2010  +
Creation dateThis property is a special property in this wiki. 15 March 2012 20:27:55  +
Categories Other participation outcomes  + , Information systems  + , Publications  +
Modification dateThis property is a special property in this wiki. 30 January 2014 20:27:30  +
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