Organizational benefits of wikis - 2005

Perceived benefits of organizational wikis

Majchrzak et al (20051) did a survey on the use of wikis at corporate levels and presented their results at a conference in 2006. The most interesting results were those related to the organizational benefits of using wikis as well as potential predictors of such benefits. The main results obtained (illustration 1) were that organizational users' perceived wikis as, mostly, a work-related tool that helps them in their work and, consequently, brings related benefits to the organization (although it very rarely helps identify new business opportunities). In contrast, organizational wikis rarely bring about reputational benefits for the users.

Illustration 1: Perceived benefits of organizational wikis
Users' perception Interpretation
Work-related benefits often
relevant knowledge very often
easier work often
knowledge dissemination often
Organizational benefits sometimes
improved knowledge reuse often
improved collaboration often
improved work processes sometimes
improved opportunities very rarely
Reputational benefits rarely
respect from others sometimes
reputation within company sometimes
professional status rarely

Regarding possible predictors for each of above benefits, Majchrzak et al found results which suggested a linear relationship between gaining work-related benefits from collaborating on a wiki and the user's need for new solutions, his need for others' inputs, the credibility of others' knowledge, the expertise of the user, the user's formal role within the wiki and the existence of other channels for collaboration (instead of just relying on the wiki for such collaboration) (Adj.R=0.56).

Organizational benefits seemed to correlate with the user's need for new solutions and the credibility of others' knowledge (Adj.R=0.39).

Finally, reputational benefits seemed to correlate with the user's need for new solutions, the credibility of others' knowledge and the expertise of the user (Adj.R=0.46).


Methods

Research approach

Exploratory research.

Sample

A convenient, purposive, sample of 168 experienced wiki users, including organizational wikis. Although there is some information regarding the expertise of this users, such information, as well as other relevant demographic information, is incomplete.

Design

Quantitative (fixed) relational design.

Variables

There are numerous variables, further collapsed into factors. ###

Procedure

Data analysis

There is no information about the integrity of the data, cleaning up procedures, or the normality and linearity of the variables. A cautionary approach to the interpretation and generalization of results is, thus, recommended.

The main approach to data analysis was a parametric one, and included descriptives, factor analysis, and regression analysis.

Generalization potential

Given the relative lack of information about the integrity of the data and the location of the sample, a prudent approach is to take the results as being descriptive of this particular group only. Generalization to a larger population may be possible as part of a meta-analysis, if and when appropriate.

References
1. MAJCHRZAK Ann, Christian WAGNER & Dave YATES (2005). Corporate wiki users: results of a survey. WikiSym '06, 2006 (21-23 August), Odense (Denmark).
+++ Notes +++
2. ###

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