Governance of open content creation: A conceptualization and analysis of control and guiding mechanisms in the open content domain

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Abstract

The open content creation process has proven itself to be a powerful and influential way of developing text-based content, as demonstrated by the success of Wikipedia and related sites. Distributed individuals independently edit, revise, or refine content, thereby creating knowledge artifacts of considerable breadth and quality. Our study explores the mechanisms that control and guide the content creation process and develops an understanding of open content governance. The repertory grid method is employed to systematically capture the experiences of individuals involved in the open content creation process and to determine the relative importance of the diverse control and guiding mechanisms. Our findings illustrate the important control and guiding mechanisms and highlight the multifaceted nature of open content governance. A range of governance mechanisms is discussed with regard to the varied levels of formality, the different loci of authority, and the diverse interaction environments involved. Limitations and opportunities for future research are provided.

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