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Author Peddibhotla, Naren Bhaskara
Title Knowledge sharing in public document repositories
book jacket
Descript 90 p
Note Source: Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 67-07, Section: A, page: 2634
Advisers: Mani R. Subramani; Shawn P. Curley
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Minnesota, 2006
This research examines the phenomenon of contribution activity at public document repositories (PDRs). PDRs are valuable resources and a component of the broader information commons freely accessible to the public on the Internet. Instances of PDRs include the repository of reviews at and Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia. These repositories are created and sustained by the voluntary, often uncompensated, contributions of individuals. The two essays in this dissertation describe two related studies
The first essay studies the contribution activity of the most prolific contributors at a large PDR of product reviews,, from the viewpoint of collective action. It draws upon Critical Mass theory and is based on interviews with two of the top 50 contributors, contribution data of all 1.35 million contributors, and qualitative profile information on the top 1000 contributors. It identifies a small critical mass of contributors that makes a significant contribution to the sustenance of the PDR. These individuals obtain private benefits from making their own contributions. They also submit content owing to social motives. People also tend to submit content on topics where there are fewer existing contributions by others. The private benefits and social motives are linked to quantity and quality of contributions in opposite ways
The second essay views the contribution behavior of significant contributors (contributing 10 or more documents) at from the perspective of volunteering. It draws upon the functionalist framework of motivations and uses responses to a survey from 185 individuals. It identifies two motives that influence frequency of contribution---the utilitarian motive, wherein an individual expects to obtain tangible rewards from others, and the knowledge motive, which is the urge to enhance one's own understanding about the topic of contribution. Finally, the knowledge motive is more strongly associated with contribution for non-regular contributors as compared to regular contributors
The findings suggest that administrators of PDRs can target suitable incentives to the critical mass of individuals to influence quantity and quality of their contributions. PDR features that cater to the different motives identified in this thesis may also be used to facilitate the contribution behavior of the significant contributors
School code: 0130
Host Item Dissertation Abstracts International 67-07A
Subject Business Administration, General
Sociology, Social Structure and Development
Psychology, Social
Information Science
Alt Author University of Minnesota
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