Coordination and Learning in Wikipedia: Revisiting the Dynamics of Exploitation and Exploration

Aleksi Aaltonen, Jannis Kallinikos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


The evolution of Wikipedia betrays an increasing reliance on policies and guidelines, signalling certain stabilization in the knowledge making processes underlying the encyclopaedia. We interpret such a state of affairs as reflecting the need to provide a few principles and guidelines of coordination, in a context that has otherwise been marked by vast diversity, high membership turnover and the lack of traditional exploitative structures. Rather than reflecting bureaucratization and a shift away from its constitutive principles, the consolidation of these coordinative mechanisms further embeds the distinctive profile of knowledge making processes characteristic of the online encyclopaedia. They reinforce the diversity of the collective (rather than individual capabilities and skills) as the primary source of knowledge and render the mechanisms of harvesting that diversity and assembling it to a reasonable knowledge output key means of social learning.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalResearch in the Sociology of Organizations
Pages (from-to)161-192
Number of pages32
Publication statusPublished - 2012
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 113 Computer and information sciences
  • KOTA2012


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