Feb 16, 2006

Rewards don't motivate true knowledge workers?

That's what David Gurteen seems to think so.

I had often wondered why Wikipedia did not recognize the contributors to an entry in some way such as providing a meta data page that listed all the contributors by order of contribution. I now had the answer - if they did - people would contribute to Wikipedia for the wrong reasons - for the "reward" of "recognition" and they would "game" the system for that reward. By providing no recognition and no rewards - only the people who were passionate enough about the topic in hand take the time to contribute.

I'd like to add some more thoughts to this.

Wikipedia is different from an organization. You know the organization's goal is to make money for its shareholdders and therefore you expect to be rewareded for any activity that contributes to that end. Wikipedia is different, because it's purpose is nobler and asking them for reward seems very petty.

The other point is that one can contribute to many areas in the wikipedia, depending on the diversity of one's interests. A corporate organization does not usually give enought avenues for us to express ourselves totally.