Self-Governance Through Group Discussion in Wikipedia: Measuring Deliberation in Online Groups

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Self-Governance Through Group Discussion in Wikipedia: Measuring Deliberation in Online Groups is a 2011 publication written in English by Laura W. Black, Howard T. Welser, Dan Cosley, Jocelyn M. DeGroot and published in Small Group Research.

[edit] Abstract

Virtual teams and other online groups can find it challenging to establish norms that allow them to effectively balance task and relational aspects of their discussions. Yet, in our reliance on organizational and team theories, small group scholars have overlooked the potential for learning from examples offered by online communities.Theories of deliberation in small groups offer scholars a way to assess such discussion-centered self-governance in online groups.The study operationalizes the conceptual definition of deliberative discussion offered by Gastil and Black (2008) to examine the small group discussions that undergird policy-making processes in a well-established online community, Wikipedia. Content analysis shows that these discussions demonstrated a relatively high level of problem analysis and providing of information, but results were mixed in the group’s demonstration of respect, consideration, and mutual comprehension. Network visualizations reveal structural patterns that can be useful in examining equality, influence, and group member roles. The combination of measures has implications for future research in deliberative discussion and virtual teamwork.

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