University of Oulu

Arto Lanamäki and Juho Lindman. 2017. Before the Sense of ’We’: Identity Work as a Bridge from Mass Collaboration to Group Emergence. In Proceedings of the 13th International Symposium on Open Collaboration (OpenSym '17). ACM, New York, NY, USA, Article 5, 9 pages. DOI:

Before the sense of ‘We’ : identity work as a bridge from mass collaboration to group emergence

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Author: Lanamäki, Arto1; Lindman, Juho2
Organizations: 1Interact research unit, University of Oulu, Oulu
2Applied Information Technology, University of Gothenburg / Chalmers, Gothenburg
Format: article
Version: accepted version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Association for Computing Machinery, 2017
Publish Date: 2017-09-11


Individuals engaged in mass collaboration in Wikipedia may join to work recurrently with the same partners. It may well be that a significant portion of Wikipedia content is produced this way. Therefore, it is important to study how such groups emerge. In this paper, we argue how such recurrence may involve identity work that creates a sense of ‘we-ness.’ We provide a case from Wikipedia, focusing on how individual Wikipedians came together to work on a collaborative Feature Article task. Furthermore, the same people came together in other content collaborations, and they identified themselves as a group. The findings suggest that identity work can bridge mass collaborations to the emergence of smaller-scale sustained groups. Our theoretical contribution brings together research streams on mass collaboration, group dynamics, and identity. This offers interesting pathways for further research.

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ISBN: 978-1-4503-5187-4
Article number: 5
DOI: 10.1145/3125433.3125451
Host publication: OpenSym '17 Proceedings of the 13th International Symposium on Open Collaboration
Conference: International Symposium on Open Collaboration
Type of Publication: A4 Article in conference proceedings
Field of Science: 113 Computer and information sciences
Copyright information: © Lanamäki & Lindman | ACM 2017. This is the author's version of the work. It is posted here for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive Version of Record was published in Proceedings of the 13th International Symposium on Open Collaboration (OpenSym '17),