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Welcome to Randy Fisher's Masters Project I page

MA, Organization Management & Development, Fielding Graduate University, California (April 2009)

Randy Fisher aka Wikirandy

Table of Contents

(Overview) - A Journey of Organizational & Self- Discovery

  • discussion of the current situation, context, why it's important, main players / actors
  • discussion of the reasons why such a paper is important - why do people contribute to a top-down organizations, people contribute only when they are paid, but in wikis, people appear to have a higher-level of motivation for contributing....and also employ a hybrid model of paid and unpaid contributions. WikiEducator uses a bounty system, where individual contributors 'compete' within the community for receiving payment for performing work, that is required by the community.
  • In addition, the open source WikiEducator project is also a development platform and gateway, for educational institutions, one in particular, to develop its own content - with assistance by its own educators and instructional designers.

(Image/Picture) - The Wiki Process

(Concept Review) - Needs-Based Motivation Supports Wiki Use, Growth (Main Concept)

(i.e., personal experience (see Fisher, 2007), key author(s) and core theory)

  • Core set of values underpinning the open source WikiEducator project - individuals and partners 'buy-in' to it, before creating content and developing collaborations
  • McLelland Theory of Motivation - n-Ach, n-Aff, n-Pow
  • purpose, projects (paid service, unpaid service, community service learning, "bounties"
  • organization's values, priorities as connected to motivation - IP Policy, Learning, pilot project
  • Individual needs as connected to motivation - behaviour, and leadership behaviour (i.e., behaviour on one's project, leadership behaviour as connected to other projects)
  • see response to Joe S.
    • Affiliation - community connection, culture -affinity and affiliation, to a learning system ecology
    • Achievement - leadership, completing curricula, building one's reputation, leadership, expertise in global community - that's highly recognize' 'energy' and 'freedom' to play in a new environment
    • Power - control over one's destiny, ranking in community, using technology (latest advances, Web 2.0), increased influence, opportunities, ability to exert control within development environment


  • learn about computers
    • learn how to fix computers (skill) so I can help myself to be independent - connected to a community of users - 2 way support
    • users build a rich knowledge base emerges, pooled knowledge...
    • not a 'cheap' way to get knowledge - that is using others, and transparent....people will see through that...
Effort in Free/Open Source Software Projects]

The No. 1 Community Value: Educators Sharing Knowledge Freely

"Just a brief clarification -- the notion of a free curriculum should not be misinterpreted as an attempt to build a meta-curriculum for all nations. It has never been the intention of WikiEducator to suggest that a single curriculum would serve all nations and all people -- this would be travesty for education.

It would be more accurate to say that our project strives to work collaboratively with the freedom culture to develop free content resources in support of national curricula, for all sectors by 2015 (as articulated in the M&E plan: )

Education is contextually bounded and will always be driven by the local needs and circumstances of the learners we are aiming to serve. I hope that we will not become too trapped in pedantic debates regarding the articulating our vision at the expense of what WikiEducator is really about.

Sure, WikiEducator is not the only show in town --- but it is founded on a core set of values, which are not necessarily embraced by projects like GoogleDocs, Youtube, Flickr etc. WikiEducator has a demonstrated track record and commitment to helping educators -- largely from the developing world in becoming equal participants in sharing in the potential of what social software can offer. There is no educational wiki project in the world that has made a greater effort in building capacity in helping educators live out the real purpose of education -- i.e. to share knowledge freely."

(Analysis of Outcome Measures) - What's In It For Me? (Exploring Needs-Based Motivation)

  • success
  • benefits
  • side effects
  • research methods

The Wiki as a Community of Practice

Leadership Challenges in Communities of Practice

  • Tarmizi, et al. article

'0 Brother Where Art Thou?': Facilitating Social Support Among Varying Needs

  • Vaux, Alan (1990). An Ecological Approach to Understanding and Facilitating Social Support

(Evidence) - The Wiki-Way

  • Otago experiencing growth in user base and contributions
  • Increasing collaborations in the overall wiki space
  • World leadership in Open Education
  • Establishment of the International OER Centre (May 1, 2009)

(Unobtrusive Measures) - Research Methodology & Data Analysis

  1. Content Analysis - from forum postings, meetings, discussions, documents (primarily main Google Discussion Group -
  2. Unobtrusive Measurement
    • Conversion rate of Newbies to WikiEducators
    • No. of Active Users in the Community (12%) of total


  • WE Growth Timeline

Check-in/Check-out: Does the Rubber Really Meet the Road? (Discussion)

  • expectations of support....from people in the community, regardless of "needs"
  • aligning organizational objectives and community goals
  • what kinds of people and organizations can make wikis work, and work well

Devil's Advocacy

  • Is this a plausible explanation for what is going on in terms of motivation?
  • Does organizational structure and processes have anything to do with it?
  • Are the open source values consistent with a 'closed', hierarchical organizational structure?
    • Just because we say the Community has free and open values - are the members really respecting it (or, are we assuming this)
  • What types of organizations would allow this to be successful? Types of individuals?
  • Impact of self-organization, complexity
  • Is it much ado about nothing? Is anything really different, novel here?
  • Is collaboration really happening? (see Google Group discussions: Increasing Collaboration on WikiEducator -
    • Internal Collaboration
    • Project Collaboration
  • What are the cultural implications - are we noticing different motivations in the context of cultural references?

Where Do WE Go From Here? (Implications for Action)

  • recommendations reflecting critical thinking about the validity and appropriateness of the proposed intervention
  • adoption by organizations - to make wikis work better
  • recognize opportunities for collaboration (internal to the organization - i.e., departments), and externally

The Control Paradox and the Paradigm Shift (Conclusion)

(i.e., Personal reflections on what you learned, esp. surprises and shifts in your understanding.)

  • if you give up control, you gain a greater sense of control and personal mastery, and organizational leadership, productivity gains, speed/time-to-market



  • Kock, Ned, editor (2007) Leadership Challenges in Communities of Practice: Supporting Facilitators Via Design and Technology, in International Journal of e-Collaboration, Volume 3, Issue 1, Idea Group Inc. (Authors: Halbana Tarmizi, Gert-Jan de Vreede, and Ilze Zigurs, University of Nebraska at Omaha, USA


  • Babbie, Earl (1998) The Practice of Social Research. Eighth Edition. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Publishing Company.
  • Webb, Eugene J. [et al.] (2000). Unobtrusive measures. Rev. Ed. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. (Originally published 1966, as “Unobtrusive measures; Nonreactive research in the social sciences. Chicago, Rand McNally) Call no: H62 .N675 2000.