The Shift from Centralized to Peer-to-Peer Communication in an Online Community: Participants as a Useful Aspect of Genre Analysis

40 Pages Posted: 17 Jan 2008  

Masamichi Takahashi

Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd.

JoAnne Yates

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management

George Herman

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management

Atsushi Ito

Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd.

Keiichi Nemoto

Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd.

Date Written: January 1, 2008

Abstract

In this paper we analyzed an online community based on a mailing list that was created as an internal marketing tool for launching a new network service. We focused on the change in communication over time among dispersed Sales representatives and the employees in a centralized Service Department. We conducted a genre analysis based on content (what), purpose (why), timing (when), form (how) and participants (who communicates to whom) (Yates and Orlikowski, 2002). Analyzing the participants in a genre and how those participants changed over time highlighted a shift from centralized to dispersed, peer-to-peer communication in this community. We highlight implications both for genre analysis and for organizational practice.

Keywords: peer-to-peer, genre analysis

Suggested Citation

Takahashi, Masamichi and Yates, JoAnne and Herman, George and Ito, Atsushi and Nemoto, Keiichi, The Shift from Centralized to Peer-to-Peer Communication in an Online Community: Participants as a Useful Aspect of Genre Analysis (January 1, 2008). MIT Sloan Research Paper No. 4677-08. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1084674 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1084674

Masamichi Takahashi (Contact Author)

Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd. ( email )

6-1 Minato-mirai, Nishi-ku
Yokohama, Kanagawa 220-8668
Japan

JoAnne Yates

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

MIT E52-544
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
617-253-7157 (Phone)
617-253-2660 (Fax)

George Herman

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

77 Massachusetts Ave.
E62-416
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States

Atsushi Ito

Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd. ( email )

430 Sakai,Nakai-machi
Ashigarakami-gun, Kanagawa 259-0157
Japan

Keiichi Nemoto

Fuji Xerox Co., Ltd. ( email )

430 Sakai,Nakai-machi
Ashigarakami-gun, Kanagawa 259-0157
Japan

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