Knowledge Collaboration in Online Communities

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Citation: Samer Faraj, Sirkka L Jarvenpaa, Ann Majchrzak (2011) Knowledge Collaboration in Online Communities. Organization Science (RSS)
DOI (original publisher): 10.1287/orsc.1100.0614
Semantic Scholar (metadata): 10.1287/orsc.1100.0614
Sci-Hub (fulltext): 10.1287/orsc.1100.0614
Internet Archive Scholar (search for fulltext): Knowledge Collaboration in Online Communities
Wikidata (metadata): Q59508901
Tagged: Business (RSS)


This is a theory piece that argues that one of the most important aspect of online communities is their "fluidity" in membership, leadership, task, etc.

The authors argue that there are 5 resources which are particularly fluid in OCs, and this fluidity leads to tensions. The resources are: Passion, Time, Socially Ambiguous Identities (aka pseudonymity?),Social Disembodiement of Ideas, and Temporary Convergence.

The big idea is that fluidity of resources leads to tensions, which OCs respond to in various ways. These responses include 4 "generative responses." The first is roles "in the moment": reactions by an individual to the perceived state of the system. The second is channeling participation: keeping marginal participants informed via turning contributions into narratives (via Goffmanesque front and back stage communication). The third is dynamically changing boundaries: there are emergent boundaries at different layers (community, subgroup, idea, etc.) and these are flexible. The fourth is evolving technology affordances: affordances can help to resolve and change tensions. For example, affordances can allow for all of the contributions from one person, helping to establish identity.