The Application of Crowdsourced Processes in a Business Environment

The Application of Crowdsourced Processes in a Business Environment

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7362-3.ch011
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The recent shift towards a polycentric perception of business making requires the involvement of stakeholders in an organization's management. This is a starting point for looking at the idea of crowdsourcing as an innovative business model. The inclusion of stakeholders in the process of developing new products or services forms a general foundation of this notion. Entrepreneurs take advantage of crowdsourcing ventures due to the delegation of tasks to stakeholders in the form of an open call. Crowdsourcing interacts dynamically with interconnected society of today. This trend is symbolized by the turn from a consumer to prosumer and from a content consumer to content creator. The chapter exemplifies the types of crowdsourcing with reference to recent research outcomes. Additionally, it presents crowdsourcing incentives and tackles the problem of ethical and legal risks that face crowdsourcing.
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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 (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).

Key Terms in this Chapter

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).

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.

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).

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

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

Knowledge Discovery: 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).

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).

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