Wikipedia is a collection of articles that has come to occupy a prominent place on the World
Wide Web (Cuhalev, 2007). Recently, there has been a lively debate on the reliability and
quality of this encyclopedia (cf. Denning et al., 2005; Giles, 2005), but we contend that the
question how the quality of Wikipedia can be sustained and improved is even more
important. Ultimately, we would argue, this sustainability is a question of management.
While open science may be a fragile cultural legacy that depends on specific forms of
patronage (David, 2004), for open content it would seem sufficient that there are people
who are willing to contribute (von Hippel, 2007). Yet, it is important to keep in mind that the
establishment and maintenance of a collection of articles does not only require the free flow
of contributions, but also considerable effort to edit these contributions, integrate them with
the rest of the collection and maintain consistency and scope of the collection as a whole
(Mateos Garcia and Steinmueller, 2003). In this respect, Wikipedia is not unlike other
complex products and systems (Davies and Hobday, 2007). And it is these organizational
capabilities (Dosi et al., 2000) that we would like to study here.