Crowdsourcing Maturity and Its Application in Public Organization Management

Crowdsourcing Maturity and Its Application in Public Organization Management

Regina Anna Lenart-Gansiniec (Jagiellonian University, Poland)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-3473-1.ch092
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The aim of this article is to identify the level of crowdsourcing maturity of municipal offices in Poland. There is considerable scarcity in the literature regarding the tools to identify the degree of crowdsourcing maturity of public organizations. These existing considerations focus only on the assessment of the readiness of individual public administration bodies to implement e-administration programs. Besides, the very concept of crowdsourcing maturity has not been used by crowdsourcing researchers dealing with public organization management. Therefore, it is necessary to propose an original tool for measuring public organization crowdsourcing maturity.
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Crowdsourcing is an important variable in the research on public organizations. Crowdsourcing is important for generating information, improving communication between employees of a public organization and citizens (Brabham, 2015), engaging citizens in creating services (Noveck, 2009), solving public problems (Mergel and Desouza, 2013), shaping policy (Prpić et al., 2015), and improving public services (Nam, 2012). In addition, crowdsourcing increases the capacity of citizens' participation in public life, the sense of having a chance to make changes in their immediate environment (Seltzer and Mahmoudi, 2012). Crowdsourcing is part of contemporary public organization management trends (Lenart-Gansiniec, 2019; Nam, 2012). It is considered part of the New Governance, a new method of civic empowerment. It is also compared with e-government and Digital Era Government, open government, and instruments of social participation (Dutil, 2015). However, the implementation of crowdsourcing by public organizations alone does not contribute to achieving the assumed benefits, it is important to manage it (Blohm et al., 2018). The basis is improvement of specific skills and abilities by the organization in the context of crowdsourcing and its readiness to implement crowdsourcing, thus obtaining crowdsourcing maturity (Birch and Heffernan, 2014).

In the literature it is suggested that starting to implement and use crowdsourcing by the organizations should be preceded by significant organizational changes related to the processes, infrastructure, and organizational culture – it is only then when the organizations may include crowdsourcing in their strategies and consider its strategic application. The evaluation of crowdsourcing maturity may constitute a set of principal requirements and framework guidelines for a given process. The existing empirical achievements quite unequivocally prove the importance of crowdsourcing for the functionality, effectiveness, and efficiency of public organizations; however, it does not answer elementary questions, what crowdsourcing maturity of public organizations really is and what is the level of this maturity in public organizations, in particular in municipal offices. The search for answers to these questions seems to be justified for two reasons.

The aim of this article is to identify the level of crowdsourcing maturity of municipal offices in Poland.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Public Organization: A complex entity that has the features specific to all organizations. Its essence is constituted by distinctive specific characteristics of certain features, and in particular its orientation towards pursuing the public interest.

Maturity: The degree of the organization’s preparation for the implementation of specific tasks in a comprehensive manner and the implementation of thegoals set.

Crowdsourcing Maturity Model: A set of different tools, practices, and activities that enable the assessment of a given organization's competencies in the area of crowdsourcing and improvement of key factors leading to achieving the assumed goals.

Crowdsourcing: The organization's operation, consisting in the inclusion of virtual communities, in the form of an open call via an online platform, in problem solving, implementation of innovations or creating ideas or other tasks so far only implemented by the organization’s employees.

Crowdsourcing Maturity: The degree to which the organization's resources in the organizational, individual, and technological areas enable the implementation of crowdsourcing and achieving the assumed benefits.

E-Government: Use of information technology in general to provide citizens and organizations with more convenient access to government information and services and to provide delivery of public services to citizens, business partners, and those working in the public sector.

Social Participation: Participation of citizens in managing the affairs of the community of which they are members.

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