At a recent Knowledge Cafe in London, on the table I was at, we got to discuss why people shared their knowledge in organizations and what the role of recognition and rewards were.
Someone made the point - it may have been me - that people are happy to contribute to Wikipedia when there are no rewards whatsoever - not even any recognition! They do it for the love of doing it - contributing to a mission - to a worthy cause. They see the value in it.
And then it hit me - I had often wondered why Wikipedia did not recognize the contributors to an entry in some way such as providing a meta data page that listed all the contributors by order of contribution. I now had the answer - if they did - people would contribute to Wikipedia for the wrong reasons - for the "reward" of "recognition" and they would "game" the system for that reward. By providing no recognition and no rewards - only the people who were passionate enough about the topic in hand take the time to contribute.
For a long time - I have been against rewards for knowledge sharing but have reluctantly agreed that recognition was a good thing. I am now less and less sure. Recognition is just another form of reward that can be gamed. The only recognition that true knowledge workers need is the self-recognition that they are doing a good job and working on soemthing they believe in!