Social Structure and Mechanisms of Collective Production: Evidence from Wikipedia

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Social Structure and Mechanisms of Collective Production: Evidence from Wikipedia

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Title: Social Structure and Mechanisms of Collective Production: Evidence from Wikipedia
Author: Gorbatai, Andreea
Citation: Gorbatai, Andreea. 2012. Social Structure and Mechanisms of Collective Production: Evidence from Wikipedia. Doctoral dissertation, Harvard University.
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Abstract: In my dissertation I propose three counterintuitive social mechanisms to alleviate the risk that collective production will fail to maintain participant involvement and respond to demand. My first study, based on a panel dataset of edits and views of articles in the English Wikipedia, shows that, although collective production lacks a price-like mechanism to estimate demand for the goods it produces, consumers’ contributions act as such a signal to expert producers. In the second paper I examine the theory that collective production participation is greatest when social norms of collaboration are obeyed. Using a large panel dataset of production networks and normrelated behavior in Wikipedia, I show that social norm infringement is not completely detrimental to participation because norm enforcement increases the likelihood that the beneficiary producer continues participating. In my third paper, I rely on interviews with experienced Wikipedia producers to examine whether producers’ ties to non-participants in collective production increase the likelihood of turnover, and whether producers’ embeddedness in collective production reduces turnover risk. Surprisingly, I find that producers with networks rich in ties to non-producers and with a task-oriented approach to collective production are those least likely to stop participating.
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Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:9556123
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