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Specifying and Operationalizing an Organizational Theory of Crowdsourcing
Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering. (Industrial Marketing)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0568-7767
2017 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Introduction: Despite rapid developments across multiple areas of research and practice, an organizational-level theory of Crowdsourcing has yet to emerge.

Objectives: Therefore, this thesis has two major objectives; 1) specify the boundaries, constructs, and relationships of an organizational-level theory of Crowdsourcing, and 2) begin the theoretical validation process by operationalizing the theory for new exploratory, explanatory, and conceptual research.

Methods: In respect to the first objective, an organizational-level theory of Crowdsourcing is created through inductive processes based upon observations of the real-world, and the extant organizational literature. In respect to the second objective, a mixed-methods research design is implemented to present three separate studies that use the theoretical perspective as a lens to operationalize new exploratory, explanatory, and conceptual Crowdsourcing research.

Results: The Crowd Capital perspective is introduced, and defines three new constructs for the Crowdsourcing research; Dispersed Knowledge, Crowd Capability, and Crowd Capital. Crowd Capital theory is shown to be a valid theoretical contribution in the management research by illustrating the perspective’s incremental originality and scientific utility.

Conclusion: The thesis develops and validates an organizational-level theory explaining how and why organizations implement Crowdsourcing, and through the exploratory and explanatory operationalizations of the Crowd Capital perspective, this work contributes to the empirical knowledge-base in the Crowdsourcing research. Further, this thesis contributes methodologically by illustrating and implementing a mixed-methods research design for theory validation in the Crowdsourcing research, while also supplying managers and executives with detailed guidance on the trade-offs inherent to the different modalities of Crowdsourcing.

Thesis Organization: This thesis is organized in a monograph format comprised of eight chapters; 1) Introduction, 2) Literature review, 3) Theoretical model, 4) Methodology, 5) Exploratory research, 6) Explanatory research, 7) Conceptual research, and 8) Conclusion. As an outcome of this thesis, three journal articles and five conference proceedings have been accepted in peer-reviewed outlets1, and the author has been awarded a mini-track about Crowdsourcing at one of the most prestigious conferences in the field. The articles and the conference mini-track details are listed in Appendix A & B at the end of the dissertation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Luleå: Luleå University of Technology, 2017.
Series
Doctoral thesis / Luleå University of Technology 1 jan 1997 → …, ISSN 1402-1544
Keyword [en]
crowdsourcing, organizations, theory specification, theory operationalization, theory validation
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Industrial Marketing
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-62985ISBN: 978-91-7583-876-2 (print)ISBN: 978-91-7583-877-9 (electronic)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:ltu-62985DiVA: diva2:1088023
Public defence
2017-06-09, A109, Luleå, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2017-04-13 Created: 2017-04-11 Last updated: 2017-05-26Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. How to work a crowd: Developing crowd capital through crowdsourcing
Open this publication in new window or tab >>How to work a crowd: Developing crowd capital through crowdsourcing
2015 (English)In: Business Horizons, ISSN 0007-6813, E-ISSN 1873-6068, Vol. 58, no 1, 77-85 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Traditionally, the term 'crowd' was used almost exclusively in the context of people who self-organized around a common purpose, emotion, or experience. Today, however, firms often refer to crowds in discussions of how collections of individuals can be engaged for organizational purposes. Crowdsourcing-defined here as the use of information technologies to outsource business responsibilities to crowds-can now significantly influence a firm's ability to leverage previously unattainable resources to build competitive advantage. Nonetheless, many managers are hesitant to consider crowdsourcing because they do not understand how its various types can add value to the firm. In response, we explain what crowdsourcing is, the advantages it offers, and how firms can pursue crowdsourcing. We begin by formulating a crowdsourcing typology and show how its four categories-crowd voting, micro-task, idea, and solution crowdsourcing-can help firms develop 'crowd capital,' an organizational-level resource harnessed from the crowd. We then present a three-step process model for generating crowd capital. Step one includes important considerations that shape how a crowd is to be constructed. Step two outlines the capabilities firms need to develop to acquire and assimilate resources (e.g., knowledge, labor, funds) from the crowd. Step three outlines key decision areas that executives need to address to effectively engage crowds

National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Industrial Marketing
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-9482 (URN)10.1016/j.bushor.2014.09.005 (DOI)81fce3e1-f1b3-42c8-8a67-547b518754f6 (Local ID)81fce3e1-f1b3-42c8-8a67-547b518754f6 (Archive number)81fce3e1-f1b3-42c8-8a67-547b518754f6 (OAI)
Note
Upprättat; 2015; 20151104 (andbra)Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29 Last updated: 2017-04-11Bibliographically approved
2. The Fundamentals of Policy Crowdsourcing
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Fundamentals of Policy Crowdsourcing
2015 (English)In: Policy & Internet, ISSN 1944-2866, E-ISSN 1944-2866, Vol. 7, no 3, 340-361 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

What is the state of the research on crowdsourcing for policymaking? This article begins to answer this question by collecting, categorizing, and situating an extensive body of the extant research investigating policy crowdsourcing, within a new framework built on fundamental typologies from each field. We first define seven universal characteristics of the three general crowdsourcing techniques (virtual labor markets, tournament crowdsourcing, open collaboration), to examine the relative trade-offs of each modality. We then compare these three types of crowdsourcing to the different stages of the policy cycle, in order to situate the literature spanning both domains. We finally discuss research trends in crowdsourcing for public policy and highlight the research gaps and overlaps in the literature

National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Industrial Marketing
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-4297 (URN)10.1002/poi3.102 (DOI)239d8522-3049-489f-b81d-29abdd7edce7 (Local ID)239d8522-3049-489f-b81d-29abdd7edce7 (Archive number)239d8522-3049-489f-b81d-29abdd7edce7 (OAI)
Note
Validerad; 2015; Nivå 1; 20150820 (andbra)Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29 Last updated: 2017-04-11Bibliographically approved
3. MOOCs and crowdsourcing: Massive courses and massive resources
Open this publication in new window or tab >>MOOCs and crowdsourcing: Massive courses and massive resources
2015 (English)In: First Monday, ISSN 1396-0466, E-ISSN 1396-0466, Vol. 20, no 12Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Premised upon the observation that MOOC and crowdsourcing phenomena share several important characteristics, including IT mediation, large-scale human participation, and varying levels of openness to participants, this work systematizes a comparison of MOOC and crowdsourcing phenomena along these salient dimensions. In doing so, we learn that both domains share further common traits, including similarities in IT structures, knowledge generating capabilities, presence of intermediary service providers, and techniques designed to attract and maintain participant activity. Stemming directly from this analysis, we discuss new directions for future research in both fields and draw out actionable implications for practitioners and researchers in both domains.

National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Industrial Marketing
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-4754 (URN)10.5210/fm.v20i12.6143 (DOI)2be15a11-088f-46b1-9fd5-732f0bbdd729 (Local ID)2be15a11-088f-46b1-9fd5-732f0bbdd729 (Archive number)2be15a11-088f-46b1-9fd5-732f0bbdd729 (OAI)
Note
Validerad; 2016; Nivå 1; 20160226 (andbra)Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29 Last updated: 2017-04-11Bibliographically approved
4. The theory of Crowd Capital
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The theory of Crowd Capital
2013 (English)In: Proceedings of the 46th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences: 7-10 January 2013, Wailea, Maui, Hawaii, Los Alamitos, Calif: IEEE Communications Society, 2013, 3505-3514 p.Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

We are seeing more and more organizations undertaking activities to engage dispersed populations through IS. Using the knowledge-based view of the organization, this work conceptualizes a theory of Crowd Capital to explain this phenomenon. Crowd Capital is a heterogeneous knowledge resource generated by an organization, through its use of Crowd Capability, which is defined by the structure, content, and process by which an organization engages with the dispersed knowledge of individuals -the Crowd. Our work draws upon a diverse literature and builds upon numerous examples of practitioner implementations to support our theorizing. We present a model of Crowd Capital generation in organizations and discuss the implications of Crowd Capital on organizational boundary and on IS research

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Los Alamitos, Calif: IEEE Communications Society, 2013
Series
Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. Proceedings, ISSN 1060-3425
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Industrial Marketing
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-39588 (URN)10.1109/HICSS.2013.545 (DOI)e68ebd70-72a4-4f68-af5a-b5eaa8d10544 (Local ID)9780769548920 (ISBN)e68ebd70-72a4-4f68-af5a-b5eaa8d10544 (Archive number)e68ebd70-72a4-4f68-af5a-b5eaa8d10544 (OAI)
Conference
Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences : 07/01/2013 - 10/01/2013
Note
Upprättat; 2013; 20151112 (andbra)Available from: 2016-10-03 Created: 2016-10-03 Last updated: 2017-04-11Bibliographically approved
5. Is the World Flat?: Unpacking the Geography of Crowd Capital
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Is the World Flat?: Unpacking the Geography of Crowd Capital
2014 (English)Conference paper, (Refereed)
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Industrial Marketing
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-33172 (URN)7f754292-008b-4e7b-8e24-6e1ab6c5143a (Local ID)7f754292-008b-4e7b-8e24-6e1ab6c5143a (Archive number)7f754292-008b-4e7b-8e24-6e1ab6c5143a (OAI)
Conference
Annual Open and User Innovation Conference : 28/07/2014 - 30/07/2014
Note
Upprättat; 2014; 20151215 (andbra)Available from: 2016-09-30 Created: 2016-09-30 Last updated: 2017-04-11Bibliographically approved
6. Crowd Capital in Governance Contexts
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Crowd Capital in Governance Contexts
2014 (English)Report (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

To begin to understand the implications of the implementation of IT-mediated Crowds for Politics and Policy purposes, this research builds the first-known dataset of IT-mediated Crowd applications currently in use in the governance context. Using Crowd Capital theory and governance theory as frameworks to organize our data collection, we undertake an exploratory data analysis of some fundamental factors defining this emerging field. Specific factors outlined and discussed include the type of actors implementing IT-mediated Crowds in the governance context, the global geographic distribution of the applications, and the nature of the Crowd-derived resources being generated for governance purposes. The findings from our dataset of 209 on-going endeavours indicates that a wide-diversity of actors are engaging IT-mediated Crowds in the governance context, both jointly and severally, that these endeavours can be found to exist on all continents, and that said actors are generating Crowd-derived resources in at least ten distinct governance sectors. We discuss the ramifications of these and our other findings in comparison to the research literature on the private-sector use of IT-mediated Crowds, while highlighting some unique future research opportunities stemming from our work.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Oxford: Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford, 2014. 22 p.
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Industrial Marketing
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-24983 (URN)d523d8e8-d50a-4994-92d1-9258e9a4dda7 (Local ID)d523d8e8-d50a-4994-92d1-9258e9a4dda7 (Archive number)d523d8e8-d50a-4994-92d1-9258e9a4dda7 (OAI)
Note
Upprättat; 2014; 20151123 (andbra)Available from: 2016-09-29 Created: 2016-09-29 Last updated: 2017-04-11Bibliographically approved
7. A geography of participation in IT-mediated crowds
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A geography of participation in IT-mediated crowds
2015 (English)In: 2015 48th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS 2015): Hawaii, USA, 5-8 January 2015, Piscataway, NJ: IEEE Communications Society, 2015, 1575-1584 p., 7070001Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

In this work we seek to understand how differences in location effect participation outcomes in IT-mediated crowds. To do so, we operationalize Crowd Capital Theory with data from a popular international creative crowd sourcing site, to determine whether regional differences exist in crowd sourcing participation outcomes. We present the results of our investigation from data encompassing 1,858,202 observations from 28,214 crowd members on 94 different projects in 2012. Using probit regressions to isolate geographic effects by continental region, we find significant variation across regions in crowd sourcing participation. In doing so, we contribute to the literature by illustrating that geography matters in respect to crowd participation. Further, our work illustrates an initial validation of Crowd Capital Theory as a useful theoretical model to guide empirical inquiry in the fast-growing domain of IT-mediated crowds

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Piscataway, NJ: IEEE Communications Society, 2015
Series
Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. Proceedings, ISSN 1060-3425
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Industrial Marketing
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-36912 (URN)10.1109/HICSS.2015.191 (DOI)abb5e9bf-de92-4b62-8aef-cd345f6cdc2b (Local ID)9781479973675 (ISBN)abb5e9bf-de92-4b62-8aef-cd345f6cdc2b (Archive number)abb5e9bf-de92-4b62-8aef-cd345f6cdc2b (OAI)
Conference
Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences : 05/01/2015 - 08/01/2015
Note
Upprättat; 2015; 20151105 (andbra)Available from: 2016-10-03 Created: 2016-10-03 Last updated: 2017-04-11Bibliographically approved
8. Crowd Science: Measurements, Models, and Methods
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Crowd Science: Measurements, Models, and Methods
2016 (English)In: 2016 49th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS 2016): Hawaii, USA, 5-8 January 2016 / [ed] T.X. Bui; R.H. Sprague, Piscataway, NJ: IEEE Communications Society, 2016, 4365-4374 p.Conference paper, (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The increasing practice of engaging crowds, whereorganizations use IT to connect with dispersedindividuals for explicit resource creation purposes,has precipitated the need to measure the preciseprocesses and benefits of these activities over myriaddifferent implementations. In this work, we seek toaddress these salient and non-trivial considerationsby laying a foundation of theory, measures, andresearch methods that allow us to test crowdengagementefficacy across organizations, industries,technologies, and geographies. To do so, we anchorourselves in the Theory of Crowd Capital, ageneralizable framework for studying IT-mediatedcrowd-engagement phenomena, and put forth anempirical apparatus of testable measures andgeneralizable methods to begin to unify the field ofcrowd science.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Piscataway, NJ: IEEE Communications Society, 2016
Series
Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. Proceedings, ISSN 1060-3425
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Industrial Marketing
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:ltu:diva-37463 (URN)10.1109/HICSS.2016.542 (DOI)b7ff799d-1298-4fd7-8fda-6c3e77793e41 (Local ID)978-0-7695-5670-3 (ISBN)b7ff799d-1298-4fd7-8fda-6c3e77793e41 (Archive number)b7ff799d-1298-4fd7-8fda-6c3e77793e41 (OAI)
Conference
Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences : 05/01/2016 - 08/01/2016
Note
Validerad; 2016; Nivå 1; 20160614 (andbra)Available from: 2016-10-03 Created: 2016-10-03 Last updated: 2017-04-11Bibliographically approved

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