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Analyse argumentative de la création de règles négociées sur Wikipédia

Abstract : Argumentative analysis of the creation of negotiated rules on Wikipedia For several years, the structure and organizational components of Wikipedia have been growing faster than the content (O'Neil, 2011, Viegas, 2007). The freedom of writing expressed in the multi-authored construction of meaning is due to the control that everyone keeps on everyone (Cardon and Levrel, 2009b). However, rising powers delegated to some contributors through new rules might call into question the original model of knowledge production. Is Wikipedia still decentralized - in Ostrom's words, is the encyclopedia "a collectively governed institution?" (Cardon and Levrel, 2009b, Forte, 2009) - or is there a trend toward greater centralization of power, as in the Open Source movement (Raymond, 2001)? By tracing the genesis of institutionalized rules and by identifying the values implicitly called in these processes, we aim to determine whether these changes are actually occurring.Contributors to Wikipedia meet a significant number of rules peculiar to "Wiki" technology (Viegas, 2007, Butler Pike and Joyce, 2008). The rules emergence and their evolution might be explained by their crucial use in conflict management that represents a critical challenge for the organization (Kriplean, Beschastnikh, McDonald and Golder 2007, 2008). Rules ensure a decentralized control in a "buddy system" (Cardon and Levrel, 2009b). However, the responsibility of building organizational structures delegated to the participants results in expertise that gives rise to some kind of oligarchy. Historically, decentralization of power went with decentralization of content (Benkler, 2006; Famiglietti, 2011) but in practice Wikipedia has become highly centralized: all data are stored on the servers of the Wikimedia Foundation.The discursive model of institutionalization (Philips, Lawrence and Hardy, 2004) and the "text-conversation" theory developed by the School of Montreal (Cooren, Taylor and Van Every, 2006, Robichaud, Giroux and Taylor, 2004) appear particularly appropriate to support this research. In that sense, organization is seen according to the concept of Bakhtin as a heteroglossia, that is to say, the outcome of multi-faceted fragments of a polyphonic discourse, constantly changing and emerging (Boje, Oswick and Ford, 2004). How is it then that an organization can speak out with one voice (Robichaud, Giroux and Taylor, 2004)? The contradiction is resolved by the language that is not only a descriptive tool but above all an agent creating and building the organization identity through negotiations. An institution is the long-term compromise of conversations between actors (Philips, Lawrence and Hardy, 2004) rather than directly emerging from social action. The various argumentations produce texts that supply a broader discourse, itself generating institutions. This discursive model of institutionalization relies on the recursivity of language in the organization and focuses on concepts of (1) actions (those which, in the sense of Weick (1979), affect the legitimacy of the organization),(2) texts, (3) speeches and (4) institution (seen as facilitating and constraining social action of its members) (Fairclough, 1995). The cycle "text-conversation" helps in understanding in greater detail how conversations crystallize in speeches and how those various text abstracts from the specific situation that gave rise to them (Taylor and Van Every, 2000). The sensemaking process giving birth to an institution occurs while actors are negotiating a norm, as an issue threatens social order (Robichaud, Giroux and Taylor, 2004).Given the influence of argumentation, we will apply the theoretical framework to argumentative analysis of talk threads connected to the genesis of four major rules on the French Wikipedia since it appeared in 2001. However, explicit arguments unfold the promoted values but barely account for actors' hidden intentions or personal interests. Hence, we elaborate an ethnonarrative approach in the meantime - interviews of key actors involved and narrative reconstructions - that should allow us to grasp the context where interactions take place (Hansen, 2006). As Ricoeur said, narrative form has a great transformative power, that of articulating change and continuity (Giroux, Marroquin, 2005). Researcher stories are thus very relevant in the Wikipedian context where chronological time help situate nearly simultaneous events on a timeline and kairotic time help select those that make sense for the organization.The key points of our research will be addressed: (1) The identity of actors implied in the rules building process highlights the degree of centralization of power; (2) Some special rules (e.g. copyrights rules) are under the responsibility of the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation (WMF), underscoring relationships between the main regulators (the community of Wikipedians and the WMF).This research will provide scientific interest for both the fields of communication and organizations : it aims to offer a crossed method - argumentative and narrative - to analyze co-construction of meaning and participatory governance in a virtual environment. In addition, literature about the French Wikipedia is still underdeveloped.
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Submitted on : Monday, July 22, 2013 - 3:41:50 PM
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  • HAL Id : hal-00839252, version 2



Emmanuel Wathelet. Analyse argumentative de la création de règles négociées sur Wikipédia. Communiquer dans un monde de normes. L'information et la communication dans les enjeux contemporains de la " mondialisation "., Mar 2012, France. pp.187. ⟨hal-00839252v2⟩



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