ir10 presentation on wikis

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The Wiki as a 21 st century Water Cooler - a look at knowledge building processes in action in Wikipedia history archives by Line Vittrup - MA in International Business Communication - External lecturer at the Aarhus School of Business, Denmark - Consultant within Knowledge Management
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The presentation on "Wikis as Water Coolers?" from the AoIR conference in Milwaukee, October 9, 2009. Presented by Line Vittrup Copyright: Line Vittrup

Transcript of ir10 presentation on wikis

  • 1. The Wiki as a 21st century Water Cooler- a look at knowledge building processes in action in Wikipedia history archives
    by Line Vittrup
    - MA in International Business Communication
    - External lecturer at the Aarhus School of Business, Denmark
    -Consultant within Knowledge Management

2. Background:
This paper is based on my MA thesis (completed in April 2009):
Wikis as Water Coolers?
A study of the wikis ability to support the processes of knowledge conversion
3. My studies are based on the history archives of a sample of wiki pages in Wikipedia
Here, contributors to the wiki page can discuss and negotiate what they consider to be true knowledge, i.e. what should be displayed in the article as correct
We are thus able to see/read knowledge creation in action
Scientific background
4. What is water cooler talk?
Casual exchange of knowledge and ideas
A place where all types of people meet
Often valuable dialog in which knowledge is created
However, the talk is not captured in writing or documented in any other way
Could the wiki be a place for water cooler talk?
And could it capture this type of dialog for others to learn from?
5. Research questions:
Can processes of knowledge creation be seen in a wiki?
If so, what do they look like?
How can we explain and better understand the process of knowledge creation by use of discourse analysis?
Now, some theories
6. Jackson & Klobas (2008):
The knowledge-sharing model is based on the notion of social constructivism as given by Berger and Luckmann (1967)
Knowledge sharing involves a process of objectivation, legitimation, and reification in which knowledge is agreed upon and accepted as the norm
Fig 2.1: The knowledge-sharing model (Jackson and Klobas, 2008)
7. Ba as shared context in motion (Nonaka, Toyama & Konno, 2000)
Ba is the shared context in which
knowledge is created, and is
shaped by the participants and
how they participate
The space does not necessarily
refer to a physical space, but may
also be virtual or mental
They key to understanding ba is
that knowledge is created in
8. Gees building tasks
We always and simultaneously build seven different realities by use of seven building tasks (Gee, 2005)
Tasks used in the analysis:
Significance: does the text make some things seem more significant or not than others?
Politics: does the text make a distinction between what is good, right, wrong, correct or proper?
Connections: does the text make connections between things more apparent or irrelevant?
Sign systems and knowledge: does the text privilege or disprivilege certain types of knowledge?
These building tasks represent the type of argumentative tools we would make use of in a process of negotiating meaning.
9. Example from the analysis
10. Example from the analysis
11. Conclusion
Gees building tasks can be used to identify processes of knowledge creation in a wiki
They help explain how individuals engage in the process of sharing
They help explain the process of negotiation of meaning
Four of the building tasks were of particular interest to this analysis: politics, significance, connections and sign systems and knowledge
The wiki harvests knowledge creation in action, and gives us a still picture of the process of knowledge conversion
Yes, wikis can be water coolers!
12. Perspective
How can we use this knowledge of wikis and processes of knowledge conversion in organizations today?
We gain an understanding of how knowledge sharing processes work (and look like) in the wiki
We gain an understanding of the type of communication we see in wikis
We gain an understanding of how communication may go bad in the process of knowledge creation
We are able to the see the layers of the knowledge produced in the wiki
- how it is constructed, and what formed this knowledge
13. Knowledge management is not a question of how to capture, store and distribute pieces of knowledge, but rather about how to create situations and conditions that further knowledge sharing and thus knowledge creation
14. Contact info:
Line Vittrup
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: vittrup
Skype: baklundvittrup
Phone: +45 60957700
Blog (Danish):