Partner institutions : CNRS, Inria, Université Grenoble Alpes, Université Paris-Saclay,
IMT, Sorbonne Université, Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1, Université de Lille, Université Toulouse 3,
ENAC, ENSAM, Université de la Réunion, Université de Lorraine, Université de Rouen, Université de Technologie de Compiègne, Université de Technologie de Troyes.

Contact: pc4 [at]

3 priority themes:

  1. Framework for analyzing the efficiency/effectiveness of online communities

  2. Creative performance of online collaboration

  3. Communities of practice for organizations

Goal: funding of 3-5 theses

Thème 1 : Framework for analyzing the efficiency/effectiveness of online communities

The results of online projects can be evaluated in different ways: volume or quality of knowledge produced, but also novelty, for example. But few studies have exhaustively and systematically identified these different dimensions of community production (the "outcomes"). Effectiveness refers to the process of producing these outcomes. However, here again, existing research focuses on fragmented effects in isolated studies and has not been able to measure and capture these overarching and potentially conflicting relationships. We are calling for proposals to review and study the most extensively possible the interactions between input (participants and organization of the online community), process (functioning of the interactions), and products/production of these groups, and the casualties between these different elements.

Keywords: online collaboration, inputs, process, outcomes, efficiency, large-scale collaboration

Thème 2 : Creative performance of online collaboration

Collaboration can lead to many outcomes: goal achievement, new ideas and knowledge, team development…​ Among these dimensions, creativity seems to be paramount as it fosters the generation of ideas to solve problems or achieve goals. However, even though there is a lot of empirical evidence, for example in the video game industry, that online collaboration can lead to creativity, we lack knowledge about the mechanisms and factors that act on the creativity of networked collaborators. We are launching a call for proposals on the topic of creativity in and through online collaboration: how to characterize it, how to measure it, and especially how to foster it. In order to go beyond the existing results and identify the factors and mechanisms of online collaboration that help develop the creativity of collaborators, we estimate that experimental methods would be particularly relevant.

Keywords: creative performance, collaborative outcome, creative collaboration.

Thème 3: Communities of practice for organizations

A key element of successful organizations is their ability to dynamically create, identify, select, and coordinate the knowledge required for each task through effective teamwork. To do so, they mobilize different tools, but also different organizational forms, including, increasingly, online communities. We want to explore how online communities (so-called online communities of practice) allow them to share knowledge between collaborators, teams, and even between different organizations. With this call, we are looking for proposals that will explore methods of coordinating communities of practice within one or more organizations, as well as the factors of evolution, emergence, and disappearance of these communities.

Keywords: transversal collaboration, intra-organizational collaboration, communities of practice, value creation through communities, evolution of communities