Although considerable research has investigated perspective making and perspective taking processes in existing communities of practice, little research has explored how these processes are manifest in fluid online collectives. Fluid collectives do not share common emotional bonds, shared languages, mental models, or clearly defined boundaries that are common in communities of practices and that aid in the perspective development process. This paper conducts a retrospective case study of a revelatory online collective – the autism article on Wikipedia – to explore how the collective develops a perspective over time with a fluid group of diverse participants surrounding a highly contentious issue. We find that the collective develops a perspective over time through three archetypical challenges – chaotic perspective taking, perspective shaping, and perspective defending. Using this data, we develop a longitudinal model of perspective development. The theoretical implications are discussed and a set of propositions are developed for testing in more generalized settings.
Kane, Gerald C.; Majchrzak, Ann; Johnson, Jeremiah; and Chenisern, Lily, "A Longitudinal Model of Perspective Making and Perspective Taking Within Fluid Online Collectives" (2009). ICIS 2009 Proceedings. 10.