The Performance of Distributed Problem Solving Networks: A Final Report on the OII-MTI Project

9 Pages Posted: 19 Nov 2008 Last revised: 3 Dec 2015

See all articles by William H. Dutton

William H. Dutton

University of Southern California; GCSCC Computer Science University of Oxford

Paul A. David

Stanford University - Department of Economics; University of Oxford - All Souls College; UNU-MERIT (Maastricht)

Wolf Richter

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute

Date Written: November 17, 2008

Abstract

This report provides a brief overview of work undertaken by members of the research team from the OII and McKinsey Technology Initiative (MTI) on a project investigating the Performance of Distributed Problem Solving Networks (DPSNs).

A key assumption of the project was that much had been learned about the rise of new socio-technical organizational forms built around the use of the Internet and other digital networks for information sharing, problem solving and co-production which encompass individuals and groups distributed geographically and across organizational boundaries. However, there has been a lack of research on how to understand and measure the performance of such DPSNs, for example in relation to alternative organizational forms or in studying the motivations behind the participation of those dedicating their attention to these networks often without direct remuneration.

The following sections outline the aims, approach and organization of the project. A guide to case studies and related project outputs is also provided, including case descriptions and analytical papers. The findings of this research are presented as the prime focus of papers identified here, which are available through the specified links on the project's Website.

This project contributes to the OII's efforts to provide an informed basis for a public discussion of the changing nature of work in a networked society, as well as the longer-term societal implications for people's lives and livelihoods in societies where a multitude of experiments in sharing knowledge, problem solving and production are being facilitated by the availability of high-speed Internet access to digital content.

Keywords: internet, distributed problem solving networks, information sharing, digital networks, organizations, coproduction

Suggested Citation

Dutton, William H. and David, Paul A. and Richter, Wolf, The Performance of Distributed Problem Solving Networks: A Final Report on the OII-MTI Project (November 17, 2008). OII DPSN Working Paper No. 1, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1302923 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1302923

William H. Dutton (Contact Author)

University of Southern California ( email )

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GCSCC Computer Science University of Oxford ( email )

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Paul A. David

Stanford University - Department of Economics ( email )

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University of Oxford - All Souls College ( email )

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UNU-MERIT (Maastricht) ( email )

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HOME PAGE: http://ccg.merit.unu.edu/

Wolf Richter

University of Oxford - Oxford Internet Institute ( email )

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