Lee Sproull

Lee Sproull
New York University | NYU · Emertius Faculty

About

99
Publications
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17,548
Citations

Publications

Publications (99)
Chapter
IntroductionDefinition and ComponentsHistory of Online CommunitiesTypes of Online CommunitiesConsequences of Online CommunitiesResearch Methods and IssuesConclusion GlossaryCross References
Article
Volunteers and charitable organizations contribute significantly to community welfare through their prosocial behavior: that is, discretionary behavior such as assisting, comforting, sharing, and cooperating intended to help worthy beneficiaries. This essay focuses on prosocial behavior on the Internet. It describes how offline charitable organizat...
Article
This chapter comments on organizational learning research produced by scholars who studied or taught at Stanford University during the last third of the 20th century. Challenging classical learning models, Stanford scholars have demonstrated how cognitive and social processes attenuate connections between environmental action and the lessons learne...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We empirically examine the relationship between software design modularity and software quality in open source software (OSS) development projects. Conventional wisdom suggests that degree of software modularity affects software quality. An analysis of 203 software releases in 46 OSS projects hosted on SourceForge.net lends support for a more compl...
Article
This paper explores a new phenomenon at the intersection of digital networks and organizations-the Internet-based volunteer work force-people who use Internet applications to pursue a personal interest through volunteering contributions of time and talent that may create value for organizations and their customers or members. This work force is not...
Article
The Internet has impelled scholars to expand their views of organization. In 2005, Organization Studies called for papers about online communities that would stretch the field of organization studies. The articles in this special issue use empirical research and theory to re-examine fundamental questions of organizational boundaries, community, and...
Article
Various theories and management policies suggest that there should be a positive relationship between communication and commitment to the organization. However, support for that relationship remains equivocal. We report the results of a questionnaire on communication and commitment filled out by 376 employees of a mid-sized city government. They we...
Article
This paper provides a historical account of how the Linux operating system kernel was developed from three different perspectives. Each focuses on different critical factors in its success at the individual, group, and community levels. The technical and management decisions of Linus Torvalds the individual were critical in laying the groundwork fo...
Article
Research on information processing, managerial cognition, and social networks demonstrates that people rely on other people for information. However, this work has not specified how seeking information from others results in actionable knowledge--knowledge directed at making progress on relatively short-term projects. This research employs both qua...
Chapter
This chapter traces the development and nature of online communities. It discusses technology, processes, and attributes common to many online communities. It then demonstrates how underlying technologies and social processes can result in many types of communities, depending on member and sponsor interests. Just as community types can differ, so t...
Article
Affects that electronic participation in a local infocity can have on everyday lives in local communities in the physical world are discussed. Net-based volunteer fairs, norms and procedures and participant obligations are some of the social tools that can be used to integrate electronic and face-to-face participation. Donations can be made to loca...
Article
Organizations learn from experience. Sometimes, however, history is not generous with experience. We explore how organizations convert infrequent events into interpretations of history, and how they balance the need to achieve agreement on interpretations with the need to interpret history correctly. We ask what methods are used, what problems are...
Article
Computers are becoming ubiquitous in our society and they offer superb opportunities for people in jobs and everyday life. But there is a noticeable sex difference in use of computers among children. This article asks why computers are more attractive to boys than to girls and offers a cultural framework for explaining the apparent sex differences....
Article
Computers are becoming ubiquitous in our society and they offer superb opportunities for people in jobs and everyday life. But there is a noticeable sex difference in use of computers among children. This article asks why computers are more attractive to boys than to girls and offers a cultural framework for explaining the apparent sex differences....
Article
Full-text available
A random sample survey of an online self-help group for people with hearing loss was conducted. Two factors predicted active participation in the group: a lack of real-world social support and being comparatively effective (having less disability, coping more effectively, and using real-world professional services). More active participation in the...
Article
A random sample survey of an online self-help group for people with hearing loss was conducted. Two factors predicted active participation in the group: a lack of real-world social support and being comparatively effective (having less disability, coping more effectively, and using real-world professional services). More active participation in the...
Article
Like all teams, knowledge teams must acquire and manage critical resources in order to accomplish their work. The most critical resource for knowledge teams is expertise, or specialized skills and knowledge, but the mere presence of expertise on a team is insufficient to produce high-quality work. Expertise must be managed and coordinated in order...
Article
This paper provides a historical account of how the Linux operating system kernel was developed from three different perspectives. Each focuses on different critical factors in its success at the individual, group, and community levels. The technical and management decisions of Linus Torvalds the individual were critical in laying the groundwork fo...
Conference Paper
Video-based media spaces are designed to support casual interaction between intimate collaborators. Yet transmitting video is fraught with privacy concerns. Some researchers suggest that the video stream be filtered to mask out potentially sensitive ...
Article
Statoil a.s., Den norske stats oljeselskap, made home PCs, private ISDN connections and Internet access freely available to virtually all of its about 18 000 employees worldwide in 1997. The goal of this unprecedented initiative was to improve information technology (IT) skills of Statoil employees in preparation for competition in the emerging kno...
Article
Online communities are rapidly becoming a part of how we work, play, and learn. But how are they designed? What is already known in this emerging field? What are the key questions for future research? Online communities are becoming increasingly pervasive in the personal and professional lives of people from all strata of society; however, our know...
Article
Full-text available
Delivering bad news can be an unpleasant task, therefore people often either postpone it or mitigate its effect through positive distortion. However, delivering (and receiving) timely and accurate negative information can be critical for performance improvement and organizational learning. This paper investigates the possibility that computer-media...
Article
As computer interfaces can display more life-like qualities such as speech output and personable characters or agents, it becomes important to understand and assess users’ interaction behavior within a social interaction framework rather than only a narrower machine interaction one. We studied how the appearance of a life-like interface agent influ...
Article
Statoil a.s., Den norske stats oljeselskap, made home PCs, private ISDN connections and Internet access freely available to virtually all of its about 18 000 employees worldwide in 1997. The goal of this unprecedented initiative was to improve information technology (IT) skills of Statoil employees in preparation for competition in the emerging kno...
Article
Full-text available
People use weak ties-relationships with acquaintances or strangers-to seek help unavailable from friends or colleagues. Yet in the absence of personal relationships or the expectation of direct reciprocity, help from weak ties might not be forthcoming or could be of low quality. We examined the practice of distant employees (strangers) exchanging t...
Article
Full-text available
Abstract In electronic support groups, people use Internet-based electronic text communication to discuss personally challenging,problems,or disorders with others who,share common circumstances. Although their discussions exist only in the electronic medium, these groups can usefully be viewed as discourse communities.,We draw upon,what,is known ab...
Article
Full-text available
People behave differently in the presence of other people than they do when they are alone. People also may behave differently when designers introduce more human-like qualities into computer interfaces. In an experimental study we demonstrate that people's responses to a talking-face interface differ from their responses to a text-display interfac...
Article
Full-text available
The authors investigated basic properties of social exchange and interaction with technology in an experiment on cooperation with a human-like computer partner or a real human partner. Talking with a computer partner may trigger social identity feelings or commitment norms. Participants played a prisoner's dilemma game with a confederate or a compu...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We investigated how cooperation with a computer agent was affected by the agent's pictorial realism, human- likeness, and likability. Participants played a social dilemma game with a talking computer agent that resembled a person, a dog, or a cartoon dog, or with a confederate interacting through a video link. Participants cooperated highly with th...
Article
The authors investigated basic properties of social exchange and interaction with technology in an experiment on cooperation with a human-like computer partner or a real human partner. Talking with a computer partner may trigger social identity feelings or commitment norms. Participants played a prisoner's dilemma game with a confederate or a compu...
Article
Examined the effects of videoconferencing on interpersonal impressions and information exchange in organizational settings with 25 undergraduates in a class where the professor appeared either in person or on video. Ss completed the Personal Report of Communication Anxiety and a Daily Performance Scale. Ss achieved the same levels of performance in...
Article
Full-text available
As technology for information access improves, people have more opportunities to share information. A theory of information sharing is advanced and we report the results of three experiments on attitudes about sharing technical work and expertise in organizations. Based on research on sensitive topics difficult to study in the field, we derived vig...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
We investigated subjects' responses to a synthesized talking face displayed on a computer screen in the context of a questionnaire study. Compared to subjects who answered questions presented via text display on a screen, subjects who answered the same questions spoken by a talking face spent more time, made fewer mistakes, and wrote more comments....
Article
Advances in computing and telecommunications technology are changing how people can meet and make group decisions. Technological changes help people cross physical, social, and psychological boundaries, and have secondary effects on group behavior and decision making. Experiments show that, compared with a face-to-face meeting, a computer-mediated...
Chapter
In applied social research, the questions we can ask and the data we can collect depend on our tools. Computers have made possible many new tools—for instrument design, sampling, scheduling research, coding and editing, data entry, data cleaning, scale and index construction, data base organization and retrieval, statistical analysis, documentation...
Article
This chapter discusses use of computer networking in organizations. The networked organization differs from the conventional workplace with respect to both time and space. Computer-based communication is extremely fast in comparison with telephone or postal services. People can send a message to the other side of the globe in minutes; each message...
Article
Organizational computing tools are often developed and managed with an eye toward increasing efficiency. Yet today's most widespread organizational computing tool, electronic mail, has an impact that goes well beyond efficiency effects. This article summarizes a two‐level perspective on organizational computing and reviews research results demonstr...
Article
This study examined the effects of computer network technologies on teacher-student and student-student interactions in a writing course emphasizing multiple drafts and collaboration. Two sections used traditional modes of communication (face-to-face, paper, and phone); two other sections, in addition to using traditional modes, used electronic mod...
Article
Full-text available
Sumario: I. A two-level perspective on tchnology -- II. Beyond efficiency -- III. Do you know who you're talking to? -- IV. Electronic group dynamics -- V. Increasing personal connections -- VI. Control an influence -- VII. Designing information procedures -- VIII. New ways of organizing -- IX. Making connections. Bibliografía : P. 189-204
Article
This paper considers how computer-based communication technology, specifically electronic group mail, might affect group behavior in organizations. It proposes a framework for analyzing groups formed by electronic distribution lists. It describes the scope and nature of electronic group mail in one organization, illustrates how members of electroni...
Article
Full-text available
This paper examines electronic mail in organizational communication. Based on ideas about how social context cues within a communication setting affect information exchange, it argues that electronic mail does not simply speed up the exchange of information but leads to the exchange of new information as well. In a field study in a Fortune 500 comp...
Article
Today many people have their first sustained encounter with computing on college campuses. In part this experience consists of learning to use a machine. But in larger part this experience consists of encoutering an alien culture. A socialization model of that encounter and research based on that model are presented. Freshmen at two universities we...
Article
This report examines the electronic survey as a research tool. In an electronic survey, respondents use a text processing program to self-administer a computer-based questionnaire. As more people have access to computers, electronic surveys may become widespread. The electronic survey can reduce processing costs because it automates the transformat...
Article
This article is about the cognitive aspects of implementation. Recent ideas from cognitive psychology are used to explore the role of differential perceptions, attributions, and inferences in how people, especially managers, think about implementation. Illustrative data are presented from a case of managerial innovation in one urban school district...
Article
This paper applies a cultural perspective to the problem of introducing novices to a new technology: computing. We suggest a general model of initial socialization composed of reality shock, confusion, and attempts at control. Cultural values and ideas contribute to the settings in which this socialization takes place, and one result of this social...
Article
Full-text available
This paper characterizes managerial problem sensing, a necessary precondition for managerial activity directed toward organizational adaptation, as composed of noticing, interpreting, and incorporating stimuli. It then reviews the constituent social cognition processes that make certain kinds of problem-sensing behavior, including errors, relativel...
Article
The nature of performance information is explored empirically through data describing administrator behaviors and preferences, and conceptually through a pure cybernetic model and a more organizationally-realistic administrative model. Implications from the latter model are derived for both school system administrators and school system critics.
Article
Federal regulation of organizations is an increasingly important theoretical and policy topic. Current regulation analyses are deficient in that they overrely on economic assumptions and market sector organizations. This article proposes an organizational process framework for investigating and understanding how local organizations respond to feder...
Article
Findings are presented of an empirical study involving public, private, and parochial school systems' use of standardized test information by central office administrators. Examples of actual use are given, and descriptions of central office perspectives on standardized testing are detailed. Three categories were found to account for most of the cr...
Article
Full-text available
The Carlisle Community Center is a community Web site for the town of Carlisle, Massachusetts. The objective of the research is to determine whether the site can promote social capital within the town. Three design features are central: elimination of anonymity, controlled access, and emphasis on community groups. We present a snapshot of the curre...
Article
major focus of the chapter is on a technological failure—the failure of senior managers to use computer-based technologies (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This book argues that the impact of technology cuts so deep that it calls for new answers to the complicated question: What is an organization? The book brings together experts in the fields of psychology, sociology, economics, management, engineering, and computer science to examine the diverse ways in which technology is altering organizational f...
Article
Full-text available
Systers is a 13-year old online community for technical women. Substantial growth in the membership (from an initial group of 12 to over 2300 today), and of the Internet generally, has changed the nature of this community. We report empirical research leading to redesign of Systers' online community resources. Systers must serve an increasingly div...
Article
ABSTRACT In this chapter we examine the potential value to firms of voluntaryactivities of electronic customer communities. Participants in these communities,help each other in the use of products ranging from software programs (e.g., Microsoft Word) to toy building blocks (e.g., LEGO®). They reinforce the value of theproduct in their lives through...

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