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ERIC Number: ED555530
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 350
Abstractor: As Provided
ISBN: 978-1-3034-4801-0
Hanging with the Right Crowd: Crowdsourcing as a New Business Practice for Innovation, Productivity, Knowledge Capture, and Marketing
Erickson, Lisa B.
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, The Pennsylvania State University
In today's connected world, the reach of the Internet and collaborative social media tools have opened up new opportunities for individuals, regardless of their location, to share their knowledge, expertise, and creativity with others. These tools have also opened up opportunities for organizations to connect with new sources of innovation to supplement or replace current practices. Reaching out to new sources of productivity, knowledge, and creativity via social media is commonly referred to as "crowdsourcing." Each day, organizations are turning to the crowd to complete a wide variety of tasks. However, we currently know little about the motivations of these organizations, the types of tasks that are completed, the characteristics of the crowd that may be best suited to complete different tasks, and the organizational challenges and risks that such outreach creates. Using grounded theory methods and qualitative data from literature and case studies, the goal in this research was to build a clearer understanding of the uses of crowdsourcing by established organizations with respect to innovation. This research contributes to theory in three key ways. First, it defines four common organizational uses of crowdsourcing, specifically: 1) Marketing/Branding, 2) Cost Reduction/Productivity 3) Product/Service Innovation, and 4) Knowledge Capture. This finding extends theory by building contextual understanding that links common uses or the crowd to specific organizational goals and desired outcomes. Second, the explanatory theoretical framework that was developed directly ties key characteristics of the crowd and organizational impacts to specific uses. As such, it establishes that different organizational needs necessitate the completion of different tasks that in turn require different skills and knowledge. Furthermore, different uses bring with them unique challenges and potential value. As such, the explanatory theory advances our theoretical understanding of the dynamics that present themselves when organizations attempt to integrate new resources into current business practices. Moreover, it builds a foundation from which researchers can expand theory related to this new phenomenon. With regard to its contributions to practice, the theory provides guidance to practitioners on which crowds, challenges, impacts, and values are associated with specific uses of crowdsourcing by established organizations. Such understanding may prove critical to organizations attempting to extract value from their crowdsourcing initiatives. Third, the Internal-Crowdsourcing Acceptance Model (ICAM) proposed here advances our theoretical understanding of the use of internal crowds for Product/Service Innovation and the critical role that proactive executive leaders play in reducing barriers to use and acceptance. ICAM theorizes internal-crowdsourcing for Product/Service Innovation as a disruptive business practice that has implications for organizational culture, internal processes, and structure. As such, it extends our current theoretical understanding of the role leadership plays in facilitating this new business practice. Additionally, it provides guidance to practitioners on how to address specific challenges and barriers to use and acceptance, thereby increasing opportunities to extract value from such initiatives. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A