‘Crowding Out’ in Corporate Wikis: the Effects of Job Responsibility and Motivation on Participation

Soobaek Jang, Ofer Arazy, Oded Nov, Esther Brainin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


Wiki is a conversational knowledge management (KM) tool that has the potential to alleviate the
bottlenecks in knowledge creation and sharing associated with traditional KM systems. An
understanding of the motivational forces driving participation is paramount for the success of such
KM initiatives. The inherent tension between traditional managerial practices and wikis’ affordances
calls for the development of theoretical frameworks tailored to this unique setting. Our study of
corporate wikis investigates a wiki-based organizational encyclopedia, Bluepedia. The primary
purpose of this study is to provide an account of the motivational dynamics around content
contribution evoked in a corporate wiki context. We center our attention on the differences between
those who are assigned to edit Bluepedia as part of their job and those who edit Bluepedia outside of
their formal job responsibility. An analysis of a large-scale web-survey data from one multi-national
firm shows that, in line with the ‘crowding out effect’, those not formally assigned to the task are
driven primarily by intrinsic motivations, while are those who contribute content as part of their
regular job, however, are primarily driven by extrinsic motivations. The theoretical and practical
implications are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 6th Mediterranean Conference on Information Systems (MCIS’2011)
StatePublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


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