Crowdsourcing Business Model in the Context of Changing Consumer Society

Crowdsourcing Business Model in the Context of Changing Consumer Society

Katarzyna Kopeć (Tischner European University, Poland) and Anna Szopa (Jagiellonian University, Poland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch281
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Technological advance including Internet’s development of the late 1990s and thus the wide recognition of web-dependent participatory culture in the 2000s (Brabham, 2013) has resulted in the inclusion of consumers into the process of creating new ideas also for business. In consequence, this link between enterprises and the groups of consumers has become more and more evident.

The idea of outsourcing a business task to the web-based community is a relatively recent invention, although it shows a close relationship with other deep-rooted concepts. The literature points out the catalogue of crowdsourcing-related notions such as prosumerism (Toffler, 1980), user-innovation (von Hippel, 1988), open-innovation (Chesbrough, 2003), co-creation (Prahalad & Ramaswamy, 2004). These terms, however, overlap with crowdsourcing. The notion of crowdsourcing has experienced a great success in a variety of areas. Its evidence are blogs (e.g. by Estellés-Arolas), books (Howe, 2006, 2008; Tapscott & Williams, 2006, 2013; Surowiecki, 2004) including academic contributions (Brabham, 2013; Chanal & Caron-Fasan, 2008; Pénin & Burger-Helmchen, 2011; Vuković, 2009; Estellés-Arolas & González-Ladrón-de-Guevara, 2012).

The term crowdsourcing (which is a blend of crowd and outsourcing) was coined and popularized by Jeff Howe in the 2006 Wired article (Howe, 2006). It is a real challenge to define clearly the idea of crowdsourcing as it is not a coherent term. The term has developed on the intersection of various disciplines, and thus a variety of approaches overlap here. It is also a marketing slogan of a rapidly growing recognition. Thus, scholar discourse mixes with popular media discourse which leads to “unkempt theory and practical crowdsourcing applications with shaky foundations” (Brabham, 2013, p. 6).

Key Terms in this Chapter

Distributed Human Intelligence Tasking: A type of crowdsourcing in which the core issue is data processing by the humans only (e.g. Amazon Mechanical Turk, an online platform coordinating jobs which can be provided by Internet users).

Knowledge Discovery and Management Approach: A type of crowdsourcing which is based on creating online content by users, however, this process of knowledge discovery is managed by an organization (e.g. SeeClickFix, the US website on which people can report non-emergency problems in their local community via the Internet or a mobile phone application).

Prosumer: Proactive consumer; takes an active role in creating a product or service.

Broadcast Search Approach: A type of crowdsourcing which focuses on scientific solutions by a group of selected problem-solvers (e.g. InnoCentive – a platform where scholars work out challenges devised by its customers).

Communicative Planning Theory: Theory that focuses on using communication to help different interests in the process understand each other.

Crowdsourcing: A business model in which one party (an individual, a company, a NGO, a public institution) solicits a group of individuals for solving a task via the Internet.

Collective Intelligence: Shared or group intelligence that emerges from the collaboration, collective efforts, and competition of many individuals and appears in consensus decision making.

Crowd Wisdom: The process of taking into account the collective opinion of a group of individuals rather than a single expert.

Peer-Vetted Creative Production Approach: A type of crowdsourcing in which the creation process is open to web users. This web-based community work out solutions that live up to the expectations of an organization. Finally the best option is selected (e.g., online company selling t-shirts based on design provided by artists. The best designs are chosen in a voting process).

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