Srinivas Gunta BE, MBA is a doctoral student from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore. Post-MBA, he worked for a couple of years with a reputed finance company. He is currently working in the broad area of investigating subcultures in the context of Indian software industry. His other research interests include the equifinality theory and the study of evolution of dynamic capabilities through organizational routines. His domain of research has primarily been the Information Technology industry. He has been associated with IIMB Management Review in the position of Co-ordinator, Student Affairs since March 2006.
The importance of trust is increasingly being stressed in the literature on organizations. Systems built on open source are increasingly being scrutinized to see what binds them together. Trust is believed to be a primary adhesive in these systems. This study attempts to document the process (RfA) in which administrator status is given to editors on the English Wikipedia, the most visited of all the sites run by the Wikimedia foundation. It looks at the various ways in which trust plays out in the RfA process, the strengths of such a system, the possible pitfalls and the implications for the system. The wider implications for open source projects are touched upon. This would also help in a proper positioning and categorization of open source projects such as the English Wikipedia between diverse innovative models like the private model and the collective model. On a much broader plane, the presentation, by building on the study of the RfA process, would inform the theories on trust of other possible avenues for research.