When situativity meets objectivity in peer-production of knowledge: the case of the WikiRate platform

04 Dec 2017

Abstract ● Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to further the debate on Knowledge Artifacts, by presenting the design of WikiRate, a Collective Awareness platform whose goal is to support a wider public contributing to the generation of knowledge on Ethical, Social and Governance performance of companies. ● Approach: The material presented in the paper comes from first-hand experience of the authors as part of the WikiRate design team. This material is reflexively discussed using concepts from the field of Science and Technology Studies. ● Findings: Using the concept of the ‘funnel of interest’ we discuss how the design of a Knowledge Artifact like WikiRate relies on the designers’ capacity to translate general statements into particular design solutions. We also show how this funnelling helps understanding the interplay between situativity and objectivity in a Knowledge Artifact. We show how WikiRate is a peer-production platform based on situativity, which requires a robust level of objectivity for producing reliable knowledge about the Ethical, Social and Governance performance of companies. ● Originality/value: This paper furthers the debate on KAs. It presents a relevant design example and offers in the discussion a set of design and community building recommendations to practitioners.