Case Categories

Growth Strategies Case Study

Case Title:

Wikipedia: The ultimate information destination!

Publication Year : 2006

Authors: Anandan Pillai, Joel Sarosh Thadamalla

Industry: Internet and e-commerce


Case Code: GRS0093A

Teaching Note: Not Available

Structured Assignment: Not Available

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Wikipedia was a non-profit, multilingual, open content online encyclopedia. Since its inception Wikipedia grew consistently with enormous pace and as of February, 2006 had a collection of more than 3,380,000 articles written by about 43,000 authors, across the world in about 200 languages.

Jimmy Wales (founder of Wikipedia) along with his friend Larry Sanger initially started Nupedia, an encyclopedia which was reviewed by experts. Later on with the adoption of software Wiki, Nupedia lost importance and Wikipedia prospered. Though within a short period, Wikipedia gained enough prosperity it often faced criticisms on the reliability of the data on its website.

The case discusses how both Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger started Nupedia, why they shifted to Wikipedia and the loss of compatible corporate governance between them, which forced Larry to leave Wikipedia and start his own encyclopedia, Digital Universe.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To study the concept of open source software and its benefits
  • To discuss the success of Wikipedia
  • To discuss the corporate governance and ethical issues in the Wikipedia
  • To discuss the growth strategies followed by Wikipedia.

Keywords : Wikipedia; Open content online encyclopedia; Nupedia; Wiki; Product cannibalisation; Growth Strategies Case Study; Leadership issues; Ethics; Corporate governance; Britannica; Reliability of Information

Contents : 
Wikipedia’s Expedition
7 step review process of Nupedia
Growth of Wikipedia
Downtrends at Wikipedia
New Policies by Jimmy Wales
Wikimedia Foundation
Britannica vs. Wikipedia

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