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Towards a Better Understanding of Group Forking Dynamics in Virtual Contexts

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Association for Computing Machinery


Group Fork" is defined as more than two group members leave their parent organization and start a new group. While group fork is a common social phenomenon in any type of group, it is still understudied in virtual contexts. Drawing upon the literature from three fields, religious research, social psychology and organization studies, this study attempts to bridge this gap by answering two questions, "what causes group fork?" and how is individual dissatisfaction transformed into group-level dissatisfaction in virtual contexts, thus leading to the eventual fork? Free/Libre Open Source Software (FLOSS) projects will be used as examples of self-organizing virtual work, as they provide a good context to observe the whole process of how group interactions are intertwined toward to the eventual fork. A multi-stage research strategy is conducted in this study and preliminary findings will be reported."


Li, Qing (2009): Towards a Better Understanding of Group Forking Dynamics in Virtual Contexts. Proceedings of the 2009 ACM International Conference on Supporting Group Work. DOI: 10.1145/1531674.1531734. New York, NY, USA: Association for Computing Machinery. pp. 381–382. Sanibel Island, Florida, USA