The Shift from Centralized to Peer-to-Peer Communication in an Online Community: Participants as a Useful Aspect of Genre Analysis
Author(s)Takahashi, Masamichi; Yates, JoAnne; Herman, George; Ito, Atsushi; Nemoto, Keiichi
In this paper we analyzed an online community based on a mailing list that was created as an internal marketing tool for launching a new network service. We focused on the change in communication over time among dispersed Sales representatives and the employees in a centralized Service Department. We conducted a genre analysis based on content (what), purpose (why), timing (when), form (how) and participants (who communicates to whom) (Yates and Orlikowski, 2002). Analyzing the participants in a genre and how those participants changed over time highlighted a shift from centralized to dispersed, peer-to-peer communication in this community. We highlight implications both for genre analysis and for organizational practice.
Alfred P. Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
MIT Sloan School of Management Working Paper;4677-08
peer-to-peer, genre analysis