Identifying and Overcoming Barriers to the Successful Adoption and Use of Wikis in Collaborative Knowledge Management

by Walker, John

Abstract (Summary)
This study describes a multi-method investigation of how social, epistemological, technical and cultural factors influence opinions and use of wikis among students attending the School of Information and Library Science at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Based on interviews, observations and survey responses from 115 students, this study found there were significant social and technical barriers to wiki use. Study results suggest that active social networks are required to sustain wikis, and that collaborative wikis in environments that lack active networks are likely to fail. Downplaying the technical skills required for participation in wikis may alienate potential contributors, while internet-facing wikis may face spam-related problems. Students’ epistemologies did not appear to influence whether they used wikis, but there were indications that epistemologies influenced how wikis were used. Finally, many students were either unfamiliar with wikis, or, because of concerns of authority, attribution and information quality, had conflicted or ambivalent opinions about wikis, indicating a need to enhance the coverage of wikis in information and library science curricula.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:Deborah Barreau

School:University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

School Location:USA - North Carolina

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:collaborative knowledge management social software wikis computer science – cultural aspects epistemological technical


Date of Publication:04/10/2006

© 2009 All Rights Reserved.