Ann Majchrzak, Professor of Information Systems University of Southern California

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The Role of Shapers in The Role of Shapers in Virtual Firm-based Virtual Firm-based Practice Networks using Practice Networks using Wikis: Implications for Wikis: Implications for Systems Engineering Systems Engineering Ann Majchrzak, Ann Majchrzak, Professor of Information Professor of Information Systems Systems University of Southern University of Southern California California [email protected] [email protected]

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The Role of Shapers in Virtual Firm-based Practice Networks using Wikis: Implications for Systems Engineering. Ann Majchrzak, Professor of Information Systems University of Southern California [email protected] Background: What is a Wiki?. Wikis = “Fast” Website: Example  Katrina Wiki. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Transcript of Ann Majchrzak, Professor of Information Systems University of Southern California

  • The Role of Shapers in Virtual Firm-based Practice Networks using Wikis: Implications for Systems EngineeringAnn Majchrzak, Professor of Information SystemsUniversity of Southern [email protected]

  • Background: What is a Wiki?

  • Wikis = Fast Website: Example Katrina Wiki

  • OpenWiki Way: Wiki content not owned by individual authors; focus on community ; everyone can contribute and change content easily, if given access to page

  • SimpleWiki Way: content maintenance principles. Simplified mark-up (language), rules for modifying and integrating other authors pages (refactoring rules), as well as page design standards (templates).

  • IncrementalWiki Way: Incremental growth. Links to missing pages permitted and rendered as open questions for someone else to address. Hyperlink automatically created when a missing page is added.

  • ObservableWiki Way: observability of all content, past and present leads to broad reviews and better quality.

  • OrganicWiki Way: Organic growth. A wiki structure can be changed by any wiki author, as the need arises.

  • Sweet Spots:Collaboration and CoordinationCoordination across time zonessamedifferentCollaboratorsfewmanyE-mail / Listserv

  • Sweet Spots: Dispersion of KnowledgeKnowledge SourcesfewmanyKnowledge Recipientsfewmany

  • Sweet Spots: Knowledge MaintenanceEase of Knowledge MaintenancelowhighKnowledge OrganizationlowhighEnterprise KMSCommunity KMS

  • Systems Engineering Uses of Wiki ApplicationsCompany, project, or department intranet with collaboratively editing pages on new technologies, project status, customer information (as a CRM with dashboards), bug tracking, competitor information (with RSS feeds)Fast problem identification and resolution mechanismProject management (meeting minutes, task status, repository, workflow automation)Solutions sharing (FAQ, best practice)Distributed meeting coordination

  • Corporate Directory

  • Summary of Wikis Potential for Systems EngineeringEncourages people to share knowledge by project, practice area, function, problem, or issue within firms emergentlyAllows for organizing knowledge as it evolvesThe opportunity of a shaping role emerges*Wasko & Faraj 2005

  • ShapingContributing by integrating, distilling, organizing & rewriting contributions of others Shaping is a practice-based role*Facilitates knowledge transformation by helping community to exchange & combine its knowledge to refine its perspective & to take new perspectives** * Brown & Duguid 2001, Feldman & Pentland 2003, Orlikowski 2002** Boland & Tenkasi 1995, Dougherty 1992, Carlile 2004, Nahapiet & Ghoshal 1998

  • Example of a Shaper: Howard75-person software engineering group at a multi-billion dollar tech companyI spend up to two hours a day working on the wiki. Much of this time I reorganize other peoples materials, rename pages, create new links on the home page, or restructure the home page. Benefits arent to mean personally, but they help the group collaborate more effectively. They can find things easier

  • Motivation for ResearchPrior research focused on why people contribute personal content knowledge to networks & repositories*Shapers relatively ignored**Shapers & Personal Knowledge Contributors (PKCs) have different barriers to overcome: some edit others work, & some donts* Fulk et al 1996, 2004; Bagozzi & Dholakia 2006, Bock et al 2005, Kalman et al 2005, Roberst et sl 2006, Wasko & Faraj 2005 **Butler et al in press is an exception

  • Research QuestionsAre there unique characteristics of participants in virtual practice networks who a) primarily shape vs b) primarily contribute personal knowledge?Are the factors explaining the level of participation in each role different?

  • Hyp 1: Unique Chars?PKCs

    Lose sole claim to knowledge

    Deep task expertise*- self-proclaimed- relative to others in network (network perceived to have well-developed transactive memory)

    Shapers

    Reactions of others to edits (especially if converging on domain)

    Focus on divergence in domain**(new business opportunities)More general expertise Barriers:

    H1: Predicted profile to overcome barriers*Gray 2001, Kankanhalli et al 2005, Bock et al 2005, Menon et al 2006**Boland & Tenkasi 1995

  • Hyp 2: Explain Level of Participation in Each Role?PKCs

    Lose sole claim to knowledge

    Social Exchange: Benefits > Costs

    Shapers

    Reactions of others to edits (especially if converging on domain)

    Social Capital: Combination Process to foster new intellectual capital Barriers:

    H2: Diff theories to explain level of participation*Gray 2001, Kankanhalli et al 2005, Bock et al 2005, Menon et al 2006**Boland & Tenkasi 1995

  • Hyp 2 (cont):Predictors to Level of ParticipationCosts in timeBenefits for indiv work

    Benefits for group work (member of core group)

    Benefits to orgztnExchange/Combo Opportunity - # accesses by community

    Anticipation of new knowledge creation - perceived novelty of task

    Motivation to combine/exchange - worth to organization

    Combination capability - Received reputationPKCsShapersSocial Exchange TheorySocial Capital Theory

  • Research Methods: Survey of firm wiki users that protects firm & personal identity Solicitation on 10 listservers likely visited by firm-based wiki participantsFollowed accepted recs for decreasing response biasIdentified Shapers & PKCs within sample: factor analysis of types of contributions, then median splits on two types

  • Means for Shaper vs PKC Contributions

    A.Entire Sample Mean (1=never, 7=all the time), (Sd)N=168B.Shaper Sub sample Mean(Sd)N=47C.PKC Sub-sample Mean(Sd)N=47How often have your contributions to the wiki been:Adding new pages 5.0(1.4)3.9(1.1)5.7(1.3)Adding content to existing pages5.4(1.1)4.5(1.0)6.0(0.9)Rewriting whole paragraphs2.3(1.3)2.5(1.2)1.7(0.9)Reorganizing a set of pages2.8(1.5)2.9(1.3)2.3(1.3)Integrating ideas already posted onto existing pages3.5(1.5)3.8(1.3)2.6(1.4)

  • H1 Confirmed: Profiles Different for Shapers vs. PKCs 78.5% classification accuracy

  • H2 & H3 TestModerator Regressions

  • 2-Tiered Regression Results on Level of Participation for Shapers and Personal Knowledge Contributors Combined ***=p
  • Interaction Effects

  • Interaction Effects

  • Regressions of Level of Participation for Each Group

  • Implications for Systems EngineeringSeed networks with technology and technology norms that encourage collaborative editingEncourage networks to take on novel tasks, encourage benefits at multiple levels in organization, promote network to increase frequency of accessesDONT assume that deep task expertise is needed for each network or need to assign formal rolesGive network the seeds; allow it to bloom