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ERIC Number: EJ826197
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 7
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 0
ISSN: ISSN-1527-6619
Managing the Platform: Higher Education and the Logic of Wikinomics
Staley, David J.
EDUCAUSE Review, v44 n1 p36-38, 40, 42, 44, 46 Jan-Feb 2009
Wikipedia is an online free-content encyclopedia that anyone can edit and an efficient way to marshal the talents of many bright, capable people to produce knowledge. But the real significance of Wikipedia and similar Web 2.0 technologies is the way in which they organize people and activities, not simply the way in which they create and distribute information. Don Tapscott and Anthony Williams call this new organization of activities "wikinomics." At its heart, wikinomics involves motivated amateurs who voluntarily produce knowledge and information in a new form of social and managerial organization. Socially, a wiki-ized system cannot exist without an agreement among the members of that system to behave in a certain fashion. Managerially, wikinomics is built on the idea of the "platform." Wikipedia and other social networking sites provide a space or platform upon which all kinds of activities can flourish, with the idea of a platform transcending any particular technology or application and referring to either virtual or physical worlds. Collaboration among many users upon such a platform often produces unplanned and emergent results--results frequently unattainable in a command-and-control management setting. In a wiki-ized setting, leadership thus involves "managing the platform," with leaders ensuring the vitality and stability of the platform rather than regulating the actions and activities of the people who use the platform. Wikinomics and Web 2.0 technologies represent as important a historical phenomenon as the birth of bureaucracy; indeed, people should refer to this moment in time as signaling a participatory turn in their culture. Yet whereas this participatory turn is rewriting the rules for many industries, most notably the software industry, people have yet to witness the full effects on the university--specifically on how they might organize, manage, and lead colleges and universities in the future. In this article, the author discusses how the logic of Web 2.0, the logic of commons-based peer production, and the logic of platform management might transform the idea of the university and the very activities--teaching and learning, research, and publishing--that lie at the heart of this enterprise. (Contains 16 notes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A