Corporate Wikis: The Effects of Owners' Motivation and Behavior on Group Members' Engagement

Journal of Management Information Systems, Vol. 29, Issue 3, 2013

University of Alberta School of Business Research Paper No. 2013-442

Posted: 27 May 2013

See all articles by Ofer Arazy

Ofer Arazy

Independent

Ian R. Gellatly

University of Alberta - Department of Strategic Management and Organization

Date Written: March 11, 2013

Abstract

Originally designed as a tool to alleviate bottlenecks associated with knowledge management, the suitability of wikis for corporate settings has been questioned given the inherent tensions between wiki affordances and the realities of organizational life. Drawing on regulatory focus theory and social cognitive theory, we developed and tested a model of the motivational dynamics underlying corporate wikis. We examined leaders (owners) and users of 187 wiki-based projects within a large multinational firm. Our findings revealed two countervailing motivational forces, one oriented toward accomplishment and achievement (promotion focus) and one oriented toward safety and security (prevention focus), that not only predicted owners' participation but also the overall level of engagement within the wiki groups. Our primary contribution is in showing that, notwithstanding the potential benefits to users, wikis can trigger risk-avoidance motives that potentially impede engagement. Practically, our findings call for an alignment between organizational procedures surrounding wiki deployment and the technology's affordances.

Keywords: Business and Management, Computer Science, Management Information Systems, Information Technology

Suggested Citation

Arazy, Ofer and Gellatly, Ian R., Corporate Wikis: The Effects of Owners' Motivation and Behavior on Group Members' Engagement (March 11, 2013). Journal of Management Information Systems, Vol. 29, Issue 3, 2013, University of Alberta School of Business Research Paper No. 2013-442, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2270644

Ian R. Gellatly

University of Alberta - Department of Strategic Management and Organization ( email )

Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2R6
Canada

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