Boundary management in online communities: Case studies of the nine inch nails and ccmixter music remix sites

Sirkka L. Jarvenpaa*, Karl R. Lang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Online communities foster unprecedented creativity, but at the same time they challenge the contemporary organisational boundary literature. They represent a new kind of nontraditional, nonhierarchical organisation where boundaries go beyond efficient (economic and legal) transaction logics to include boundary logics of identity, power and competence that need to be integratively managed. Moreover, these boundaries are not necessarily under the control of management, but rather are constantly negotiated between the platform providers, community members and content owners whose materials are used in collaborative production. In this paper, we explore the questions of how boundaries interact and how they can be managed integratively to render creative content production. Our empirical study involves an exploratory case research design of two established music remix sites: nin.com and ccMixter.org. We report on the community boundaries and their interdependencies, as well as on how the interdependencies are related to the goals and creative content production of online communities. The paper offers new insight into the role of integrative boundary management.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)440-457
Number of pages18
JournalLong Range Planning
Volume44
Issue number5-6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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