Building Governance Capability in Online Social Production: Insights from Wikipedia
Aleksi Aaltonen and Giovan Francesco Lanzara
This article investigates a form of governance that makes online social production possible. Drawing on the concepts of capability and routine, we develop a dynamic, process-oriented view that departs from past research focused on static comparative analysis. We theorize that online social production systems develop a collective governance capability to steer the process of integrating distributed knowledge resources to the production of value. Governance mechanisms emerge from individual and collective learning that is made possible by new technology, and they evolve over time, as routines are developed to respond to new problems faced by a growing production system. Using Wikipedia as a paradigmatic example of online social production, we characterize governance as an evolving, enabling and embedded process and discuss implications for a dynamic theory of governance.