Designing Anonymous Collaboration in Computer-Supported Organizational Participation

  • Thomas WagenknechtEmail author
  • Olga Levina
  • Christof Weinhardt
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10243)


Voicing one’s opinion, especially when it is not in conjunction with the opinion of the senior management, can be difficult in organizational contexts. Thus, platform facilitators in organizational participation processes might want to grant their users a way to communicate anonymously. However, this might have adverse effects, such as hoax and foul language. In this study, we describe the rigorous design process, evaluation and instantiation of an artifact that allows the postings of opinions and issues concerning the strategic and operational decisions in a public organization without revealing the identity of the author. Building on a thorough literature review and the involvement of key stakeholder groups allowed us to design and realize an artifact that mitigates the negative effects, while supporting reticent employees and those in fear of their superiors to speak their mind. We discuss both theoretical and practical implications.


Design instantiation Organizational participation Anonymity Crowdsourcing 



This study was part of the joint research project “Participation as a Service” (PaaS), funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (under grant no. 01IS150120). We would like to thank our project partners at Liquid Democracy e.V., partou eG and HRpepper GmbH & Co. KGaA and the public organization as well as the two anonymous reviewers of this paper.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Wagenknecht
    • 1
    Email author
  • Olga Levina
    • 1
  • Christof Weinhardt
    • 2
  1. 1.FZI Research Center for Information TechnologyBerlinGermany
  2. 2.Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Institute of Information Systems and MarketingKarlsruheGermany

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