Motivating and Enabling Organizational Memory with a Workgroup Wiki

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Workgroups can struggle with remembering past projects and sharing this information with other groups in the organization. In a case study of the deployment of MediaWiki as a publishing tool for building organizational memory, group members' motivation to document past projects increased. A browsable collection of past projects allows for discovery of past work, reputation management, and development of transactive memory within the workgroup. The "anyone can edit" feature, frequently touted as the main benefit of wikis, had both benefits and drawbacks in this implementation. Group members do not feel comfortable making substantial edits to others' content but do occasionally use the wiki to coauthor content and also categorize and link to others' content and fix typos, particularly when asked to help.

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  • Motivating and Enabling Organizational Memory with a Workgroup Wiki

    1. 1. Motivating and Enabling Organizational Memory with a Workgroup Wiki sean munson sean munson
    2. 2. research site: The Concept Center <ul><li>An innovation center at Boeing Commercial Aircraft, physically and organizationally distinct from the program and production groups. </li></ul><ul><li>27 group members </li></ul>Production & Programs The Concept Center
    3. 3. some of what we know about corporate wikis Enterprise wikis Collection & synthesis of tacit knowledge and group processes Increased trust leads to decreased need for versioning (as opposed to public wikis) White and Lutters 2007; Hasan et al 2007;Majchrzak et al 2006; Bean and Hott 2005 White and Lutters 2007; Hasan et al 2007;Majchrzak et al 2006; Bean and Hott 2005
    4. 4. some of what we know about corporate wikis Enterprise wikis Collection & synthesis of tacit knowledge and group processes Increased trust leads to decreased need for versioning (as opposed to public wikis) Workgroup & team wikis Synthesis & knowledge co-creation Consensus-building Project coordination White and Lutters 2007; Hasan et al 2007;Majchrzak et al 2006; Bean and Hott 2005 White and Lutters 2007; Hasan et al 2007;Majchrzak et al 2006; Bean and Hott 2005
    5. 5. research questions <ul><li>what motivates, and de-motivates, users to contribute to the wiki repository? </li></ul><ul><li>what types of knowledge is the wiki particularly adept at sharing? </li></ul><ul><li>How well is a wiki suited for the role of workgroup knowledge repository? </li></ul><ul><li>can use of an electronic knowledge repository increase the group’s influence beyond its organizational boundaries? </li></ul>
    6. 6. research questions <ul><li>what motivates, and de-motivates, users to contribute to the wiki repository? </li></ul><ul><li>what types of knowledge is the wiki particularly adept at sharing? </li></ul><ul><li>How well is a wiki suited for the role of workgroup knowledge repository? </li></ul><ul><li>can use of an electronic knowledge repository increase the group’s influence beyond its organizational boundaries? </li></ul>
    7. 7. some past results: social exchange for knowledge exchange adapted from Orlikowksi 1993; Hall 2000; Kankanhalli et al 2005 adapted from Orlikowksi 1993; Hall 2000; Kankanhalli et al 2005
    8. 8. the iceberg metaphor explicit explicit tacit tacit tacit Image from flickr user featherplucker
    9. 9. methods <ul><li>Descriptive statistics of wiki growth and contributions; analysis of edit patterns </li></ul><ul><li>Semi-structured interviews with 7 group members </li></ul>
    10. 10. concept center wiki
    11. 11. wiki growth Announced to group Group work session Patents begin to be added WYSIWYG editor added
    12. 12. content
    13. 13. motivations: prevent knowledge loss I don’t want someone to re-do everything I did two years from now… maybe this information will give them a running start. So often things we work on are presented and then they just fade away. This is a place where we can archive our information for others to use. I wanted it to fill the giant hole we've been missing with all our projects, learnings, and money spent that currently either leaves with people or disperses into the air.
    14. 14. motivations: improve professional communication skills I looked around at the other pages to get ideas for what to say and how to organize it. It gives some good practice in professional writing as well.
    15. 15. demotivations
    16. 16. transactive memory 16/27 group members have created user profiles Contact information, headshot, past projects 3 have created very detailed user profiles + patents, hobbies, biography, areas of expertise, work interests “ I am thinking about using the wiki as my personal portfolio collector… all of my accomplishments, etc” 2 interviewees have browsed profiles to learn more about others’ involvement with past projects
    17. 17. sharing beyond the group Users prefer wiki for sharing beyond group: they do not have to send others large files or setup special permissions on SharePoint. Idea of others discovering / browsing to their content was motivating… even before it happened. “ I am looking forward to the day when I get a phone call from a random person saying they found something interesting on the wiki and want to know more about it. ”
    18. 18. user activity
    19. 19. content and editors
    20. 20. anyone can edit Excludes user pages, images, and uploaded files Excludes user pages, images, and uploaded files
    21. 21. anyone can edit I’ve been a bit taken aback with the changes that are made to the organization of my content. I’m still not sure how I feel about [editing someone else’s content]. I don’t believe people should edit other peoples’ work. If you have a comment, write a comment. Don’t edit someone else’s work. I guess I feel that it is their content and didn’t want to mess with it. I have verbally made recommendations on their content.
    22. 22. roles and permissions, briefly No clear roles emerged in the content creation. Offline, some group members seen as experts to ask how to do something. One user wanted a wiki moderator - but couldn’t say what that role would entail. Originally intended to implement (read) access control - later decided overhead of managing, deciding if a page should be visible enterprise-wide was not worth the effort.
    23. 23. conclusions sharing tools can increase motivation to document browsable document collection enables anyone can edit more like anyone can create and link
    24. 24. questions & discussion [email_address]

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