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Wikis

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Submitted By bobhensch88
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Corporate Collaboration:
The Growing Use of Wikis Establishing and maintaining a collaborative culture is a key to success for any business. Within larger organizations, there can be difficulty sharing information throughout different work groups and departments. Once this information is discussed, it is often stored away into a folder on a shared network drive. For larger companies with numerous amounts of data stored away, this information can be time consuming to find. However, a growing number of companies have found a tool to centralize information into a single website. A wiki is a website where users can add, delete or modify its content. This process is achieved by using the syntax of a simple mark-up language through a Web browser (Dagka, Papadaki, Lepouras, & Costas, 2012). The first wiki software, WikiWikiWeb, was developed by Ward Cunningham. However, the most popular wiki software is Wikipedia, one of the most visited websites in the world. I have used Wikipedia mainly as a reader, but I have also input content on the website before. While studying journalism at Ohio University, I worked at Southeast Ohio Magazine. Along with the help of two fellow students, I helped create the Southeast Ohio Magazine Wikipedia page. I did not find creating the page difficult despite not having any knowledge of Web page development. Therefore, if wiki software was implemented into a business, extensive training would not be needed. A wiki is included in the category of second-generation interactive services referred to as Web 2.0 (Laudon & Laudon, 2012). Businesses are increasingly seeking these services as they
Wiki 3 are relatively cheap, and they engage employees or customers in social participation. “Today’s businesses continuously seek efficient means of gaining sustainable competitive advantage and strengthening their position in the marketplace. In this context, corporate collaboration and the value it can gain the enterprise is increasingly considered to be a corporate asset and therefore its support is becoming a strategic priority for organizations.” (Dagka, Papadaki, Lepouras, & Costas, 2012). Wiki software can be used for internal and external use. Internal use can benefit a company greatly because it serves as a knowledge management system. Intel Corporation has an internal wiki for employee use only. It has been viewed over 27 million times, and the most common searches are for the meaning of acronyms (Laudon & Laudon, 2012). Motorola sales representatives have benefited from a wiki by posting sales information. By reusing client information, reps are able to gain insight and save time. Customer relationship management systems are commonly used by many businesses today. A key feature of this system is providing better services to existing customers (53). However, a CRM system does not have the interactive capabilities of a wiki. “Customer relationship management systems, while satisfying a considerable need to better understand the customer, fall short of enabling this more acute form of customer-centricity” (Wagner & Majchrzak, 2006). A wiki can allow companies to receive direct input from the consumer. This use of this system can reduce marketing expenses dramatically. Customer feedback is instantaneous and does not have to filter through different forms of analysis. However, there can be Wiki 4 consequences for having such an open forum. “While wikis may foster customer engagement, they may also create new problems for the organization. The open engagement of customers in coediting process makes the organization vulnerable to Web site defacing, destruction of intellectual property, and general chaos” (Wagner & Majchrzak, 2006). Despite this concern, many companies have created successful external wikis. SAP AG is an enterprise software vendor that established a wiki for information sharing with customers and software developers. They have used this system as a forum to answer any commonly asked questions (Laudon & Laudon, 2012). While working at the J.M. Smucker Company, I am constantly searching for documentation needed to solve an issue. The amount of procedure, brand, and customer information is overwhelming. This information is either shared on a network or through email, some of which was sent before I started at the company. I believe Smucker’s would benefit greatly from instituting an internal wiki. A number of corporations have found the benefits of wiki demonstrated by the increasing trend of those who use it. An interactive, information sharing Web page can greatly increase collaboration between employees or customers. An internal wiki is a powerful resource as it makes information readily available. An external wiki increases customer interaction and feedback which leads to strengthened customer relationships. If adapted and monitored correctly, wikis will continue to benefit any corporation who utilizes the software.

Wiki 5
Works Cited
Dagka, F., Papadaki, K., Lepouras, G., & Costas, V. (2012). Wikis in Enterprise Settings: a Survey. Enterprise Information Systems, 1-53.
Laudon, K. C., & Laudon, J. P. (2012). Management Information Systems: Managing the Digital Firm. Upper Saddle River: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Wagner, C., & Majchrzak, A. (2006). Enabling Customer-Centricity Using Wikis and the Wiki Way. Journal of Management Information Systems, 17-43.

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