On the Effects of Authority on Peer Motivation: Learning from Wikipedia

Helge Klapper, M Reitzig

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)
45 Downloads (Pure)


We investigate the conditions under which authority can be deployed without reducing subordinate motivation. We show that lateral authority, the legitimacy to resolve task?specific problems, is welcomed by members of an organization in the resolution of coordination conflicts, the more so (a) the fiercer the conflict to be resolved, (b) the higher the competence?based status of the authority, (c) the lower the tenure of, and (d) the more focused the organizational members are. Analyzing the discussion behavior of members of Wikipedia between 2002 and 2014, we corroborate our allegations empirically by analyzing 642,916 article–discussion pages. Our findings, obtained for a modern collective production community, provide learning opportunities for how traditional organizations may want to govern activities of their idiosyncratically motivated staff.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4
Pages (from-to)2178-2203
Number of pages26
JournalStrategic Management Journal
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 7 May 2018

Research programs



Dive into the research topics of 'On the Effects of Authority on Peer Motivation: Learning from Wikipedia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this