October 2015 Meeting Report

DeborahAGearsEleven members gathered at Barnes and Noble RIT on October 5, with another member listening via Periscope on Twitter, to hear Dr. Deborah Gears of RIT present “Collaboration Technology in the Workplace: What Motivates Engagement?”

In her doctoral research, Deb applied grounded theory methodology to understand the relationships among human emotion, motivation, corporate influences, and user engagement in a corporate wiki. Data collected through employee interviews and journals were analyzed through continuous comparative analysis. Behavioral triggers ranged from required participation to internal personal drive to contribute. Deci and Ryan’s (1995) Self-Determination Theory, and Reiss’ (2000) Sensitivity Theory, were applied to distinguish types of motivation associated with behavioral outcomes.

This presentation discusses psychological and contextual factors that energized or weakened collaborative behavior in an open wiki (used by a health insurance provider). Wiki engagement patterns along with definitions of extrinsic, intrinsic, altruistic, and egoist motivation were discussed. Deb described how this study led to gamification (applying game mechanics in non-game contexts) and problem solving in organizations.