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D2.1: Inventory of Topics and Clusters

Terms collection tools with WIKIs  Title:
 The WIKI conceptualisation of the Identity domain in FIDIS


The Organisational dimension

In this last chapter, we are going to mention the organisational and behavioural dimension related to the process of Ontology building. This aspect is particularly important, if we are in the case in which this ontology will have to be authored by several contributors. 

The formulation of the organisational and behavioural dimension of Ontology building is the following: “How do you stimulate and motivate people in a group to participate in the construction of an artefact?” 

The answer to this question is not new and has many different answers. 

In this chapter we are just going to present the different issues that are related to the question of people participation in some collective actions. In chapter “ ”, we will provide indication about how these issues are been addressed in FIDIS in the context of the construction of the Identity WIKI.

The motives of people participation

People participation not because a collaboration infrastructure has been set-up (the experience has shown that the building of “an infrastructure” is never a guaranty that “people will engage into a collaboration”, nor that they will sustain a collaboration), but because they have some reasons to do so, and only after a certain number of conditions are met. The theories of people participation in knowledge exchange processes, which states that people share they knowledge in order (Hall, 2001) to get a direct benefit, to increase their reputation, for internal satisfaction (altruism and efficacy), and for expected reciprocity, can provide us with some hints about the reasons that make people collaborate. First we can think that people participation because they perceive a direct personal benefit in this participation. But people can also participation for other less individualistic or direct reasons such as: the expectation to consolidate or develop their social capital, some altruistic and efficacy reasons (such as the satisfaction to work for the common good of the group), or because of some expected reciprocity (“if I provide some assistance to others, I can imagine that I will get assist from them when I will need help”). Of course, people may also participate because they have been ordered to do so, although this is something that may be difficult to enforce in an online setting. 

Design principles to stimulate people participation

It appears possible to derive from these theories of participation some principles that can contribute to the establishment of the condition for collaboration inside a group and some strategies to activate such as: (1) the development of a climate of trust (Tung et al., 2001). For instance Jarvenpaa and Leidner (1999) have investigated the importance of trust in virtual team for the effectiveness of this collaboration. (2) The development of a sense of community (Blanchard and Markus, 2002; Koh and Kim, 2003). In the context of group collaboration, it may appear appropriate to invest some effort into developing a common understanding and share values inside the groups following the Clark (1996) common-ground theories of communication (Clark & Brennan, 1991). And (3) a feeling of recognition for the actions of their members (Chan et al., 2004). Obviously, mechanisms can be implemented to make the collaborative activities of the members, and their contribution to the group more visible. 

Other barriers to overcome

Yet, having said that, a certain number of individual barriers still exists that may prevent people to “make the jump”, abandon their old practices and adopt the new collaboration practice such as: (1) people may be afraid by the complexity of a domain they do not know, and be afraid to ask (I will look stupid if I ask about something that everybody seem to know, even my children!); (2) people may be unable to evaluate the cost of switching, and to enter in an unknown territory (will the new practices will really be more effective for me than the ones I am familiar with? What is the effort?); (3) people may be frightened not to be capable to learn these new practices (what will happen if I fail?); (4) people may wrongly believe that they already have these skills and not feel the need to learn (for instance some people consider that they already know. “already been there; done that, etc.”). 



Terms collection tools with WIKIs  fidis-wp2-del2.1_Inventory_of_topics_and_clusters_03.sxw  The WIKI conceptualisation of the Identity domain in FIDIS
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