Information Quality in Wikipedia: The Effects of Group Composition and Task Conflict

Journal of Management Information Systems, Vol. 27, No. 4, 2011

University of Alberta School of Business Research Paper No. 2013-100

Posted: 24 May 2013 Last revised: 27 Jun 2013

See all articles by Ofer Arazy

Ofer Arazy

Independent

Oded Nov

New York University

Raymond Patterson

Independent

Lisa Yeo

Loyola University Maryland; University of Alberta - Department of Accounting, Operations & Information Systems

Date Written: May 1, 2010

Abstract

The success of Wikipedia demonstrates that self-organizing production communities can produce high-quality information-based products. Research on Wikipedia has proceeded largely atheoretically, focusing on (1) the diversity in members’ knowledge bases as a determinant of Wikipedia’s content quality, (2) the task-related conflicts that occur during the collaborative authoring process, and (3) the different roles members play in Wikipedia. We develop a theoretical model that explains how these three factors interact to determine the quality of Wikipedia articles. The results from the empirical study of 96 Wikipedia articles suggest that (1) diversity should be encouraged, as the creative abrasion that is generated when cognitively diverse members engage in task-related conflict leads to higher-quality articles, (2) task conflict should be managed, as conflict -- notwithstanding its contribution to creative abrasion -- can negatively affect group output, and (3) groups should maintain a balance of both administrative- and content-oriented members, as both contribute to the collaborative process.

Keywords: co-creation, cognitive diversity, collaboration, community-based production, group composition, information quality, task conflict, Wikipedia

Suggested Citation

Arazy, Ofer and Nov, Oded and Patterson, Raymond and Yeo, Melanie, Information Quality in Wikipedia: The Effects of Group Composition and Task Conflict (May 1, 2010). Journal of Management Information Systems, Vol. 27, No. 4, 2011, University of Alberta School of Business Research Paper No. 2013-100, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2268627

Oded Nov

New York University ( email )

Brooklyn, NY 11201
United States

Raymond Patterson

Independent

Melanie Yeo

Loyola University Maryland ( email )

4501 North Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21210-2699
United States
4106172937 (Phone)

University of Alberta - Department of Accounting, Operations & Information Systems ( email )

Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R6
Canada

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