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  • 1.
    Brown, Terrence
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    An Evaluation of Crowdsourcing as a Tool  for Marketing Activities2019Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    Advances in technology and social media have facilitated the rapid development of crowdsourcing as an innovative tool within the field of marketing. This has driven researchers to investigate more deeply the phenomenon of crowdsourcing as a marketing innovation. The overall purpose of this thesis is expressed as: To explore and describe the use of crowdsourcing within the field of marketing. More specifically, the primary purpose of the thesis is to understand better - How crowdsourcing can be used as a marketing tool. This thesis aims to illuminate the gap in the extant marketing literature by reviewing current academic knowledge surrounding crowdsourcing and marketing.  The use of the crowd as a marketing tool is growing primarily because of the advent of the Internet; however, as technology continues to advance the possibilities, challenges and side effects of crowdsourcing also change. These also need to be investigated continually. More specifically as digital marketing moves from a Web 2.0 environment to a Web 3.0 environment there will be new opportunities as well as pitfalls. As a result, new and relevant marketing problems exist at the nexus of crowdsourcing and marketing.

    The research problem is sub-divided into the following four research questions:

    • RQ1:  To what extent are crowdfunding platforms accessible to organizations as a marketing channel and, if so, what role can these platforms play?
    • RQ2:  How will the shift from Web 2.0 (and active-user input) to Web 3.0

    (and passive-data/sensor–based input) impact the new opportunities/product development process?

    • RQ3:  How can user-generated content help firms make strategic decisions about new business opportunities?
    • RQ4:  How is the evolution of crowdsourcing impacting information externalities and consumer privacy and how is this impacting marketing?

     This research is further divided into two sections. The first part investigates marketing activities specifically new opportunities/product development, advertising and promotion, and marketing research. The second section focuses on one of the possible repercussions of crowdsourcing in the marketing process. Most research on crowdsourcing focuses on the first section (i.e., the marketing activities) and how crowdsourcing is a positive marketing tool. Much less research aims its attention on the consequences and/or potential negative aspects of crowdsourcing.

    This thesis consists of two published papers and two studies. Each project handles one of research questions. The first two papers and the first study focus on three marketing activities (i.e., advertising, promotion and sales, new product and service development, and market research). The second study focuses on one of the possible consequences of the growth of crowdsourcing as a tool in the marketing process.

    While each paper and study has its own individual contributions, the overall contribution of this study is multi-fold. First, it develops a definition of crowdsourcing as: a tool or process by which the firm can increase or expand the resources to which it has access to by using the collective effort of a group of individuals or organizations. Second, as a result of these four research projects, crowdsourcing can further be seen as a situational, contextual and flexible tool that can be used in many different organizational contexts. The specific context for this thesis is marketing and as a result, crowdsourcing can play a wide variety of marketing roles.

  • 2.
    Brown, Terrence
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Sensor-based entrepreneurship: A framework for developing new products and services2017In: Business Horizons, ISSN 0007-6813, E-ISSN 1873-6068, Vol. 60, no 6, p. 819-830Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    As the Internet of Things (IoT) begins to dominate the technology landscape, there will be new products and services that will become technically and financially feasible. Internet technologies and advancements in social interaction tools have led to an increase in the use of the crowd as a provider of business solutions. Yet, we have seen a mere fraction of the possibilities of crowdsourcing technologies. This is because most of the development, discussion, and research around crowdsourcing has focused on active-input crowdsourcing. However, the real transformative pressure will come from passive sources of data generated primarily by developing and growing sensor technologies. This next generation of crowdsourcing will be a game changer for entrepreneurial opportunities. As crowdsourcing systems proliferate, more input will be acquired from sensors, artificial intelligence, bots, and other devices. As a result of this explosion, the variety of product and service opportunities will swell as entrepreneurs become more aware of technologies merging—such as the combination of crowdsourcing, sensors, and big data into a new type of entrepreneurship: sensor-based entrepreneurship. The purpose of this research is to contribute by (1) clarifying the next generation of crowdsourcing and (2) developing and presenting a framework to help sensor-based entrepreneurs plan, develop, and map their new products and services.

  • 3.
    Brown, Terrence
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Boon, Edward
    School of Business and Technology, Webster University Geneva, Bellevue.
    Pitt, Leyland F.
    Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University, Vancouver.
    Seeking funding in order to sell: Crowdfunding as a marketing tool2017In: Business Horizons, ISSN 0007-6813, E-ISSN 1873-6068, Vol. 60, no 2, p. 189-195Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Websites such as Indiegogo and Kickstarter have attracted much attention for their ability to enable organizations and individuals to raise funds from ordinary people who contribute for a number of reasons. This phenomenon is called crowdfunding. Crowdfunding permits organizations and individuals to obtain investments they otherwise might not receive from more traditional sources such as banks, angel investors, and stock markets. A number of now well-known startups had their origins in crowdfunding. More recently, established organizations have begun to use crowdfunding websites not only as a source of finance, but also as marketing platforms. In this way, they have been able to ensure a ready market for their new offerings, with full sales pipelines, and to use the platforms as vehicles to boost brand image and gain support for brand-related causes. This adaptation of crowdfunding for marketing purposes is not without its problems, however, and organizations would be well advised to consider not only the opportunities these platforms provide, but also their limitations and risks.

  • 4.
    Flostrand, Andrew
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering. Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University, Canada.
    Eriksson, Theresa
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences.
    Brown, Terrence
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering. Department of Industrial Economics, Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden.
    Better together: Harnessing motivations for energy utility crowdsourcing activities2019In: Energy Research & Social Science, ISSN 2214-6296, E-ISSN 2214-6326, Vol. 48, p. 57-65Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Energy utility firms operate under varying mandates throughout most of the world and typically must operate reliably with long planning cycles and requirements to meet bureaucratic scrutiny and regulatory toll gating to achieve both discrete plan approvals as well as their ongoing licenses to operate. One vehicle for gaining external insights and involving the stakeholders is crowdsourcing. Energy utility firms have a set of distinguishing characteristics (i.e. regulatory processes and stakeholder groups) that they must consider when implementing crowdsourcing activities to aid their planning and innovation strategies. To achieve constructive participation requires understanding and engaging the motivations of the population from which a firm wishes to draw input. We assert that customers’ interest, facilitated by digital age communication channels, can provide utility operators with an accessible, valuable resource to assist a wide range of planning and innovation activities. We use the Self-Determination Theory (SDT) lens, grounded by a set of in-depth interviews with utility industry professionals, to articulate motivations for members of the external customer community to provide value to the firms through crowdsourcing activities. We develop five propositions that collectively identify how energy firms should use SDT elements to design crowdsourcing activities. 

  • 5.
    Ramirez-Portilla, Andres
    et al.
    (Department of Industrial Economics and Management, KTH Royal Institute of Technology.
    Cagno, Enrico
    Politecnico di Milano.
    Brown, Terrence
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering. Department of Industrial Economics and Management, KTH Royal Institute of Technology.
    Open Innovation in Specialized SMEs: The Case of Supercars2017In: Business Process Management Journal, ISSN 1463-7154, E-ISSN 1758-4116, Vol. 23, no 6, p. 1167-1195Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose

    The purpose of this paper is to explore the influence that adopting open innovation (OI) has on the innovativeness and performance of specialized small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). This paper also examines the adoption of OI within a firm’s practices and models, and within the three dimensions of firm sustainability.

    Design/methodology/approach

    Survey data from 48 specialized SMEs manufacturing supercars were analyzed using partial least squares structural equation modeling. SmartPLS software was used to conduct a path analysis and test the proposed framework.

    Findings

    The findings suggest that high adoption of OI models tends to increase firm innovativeness. Similarly, the adoption of OI practices has a positive effect on innovativeness but to a lesser extent than OI models. The moderation results of innovativeness further show that OI models and practices can benefit the performance of SMEs. Specifically, two dimensions of performance – environmental and social performance – were found to be greatly influenced by OI.

    Research limitations/implications

    Due to parsimony in the investigated model, this study only focuses on OI adoption as practices and models without considering its drivers or other contingency factors.

    Practical implications

    This paper could help practitioners in SMEs better understand the benefits of adopting OI to be more innovative but also more sustainable.

    Originality/value

    This study contributes to the literature on the role of OI practices and models regarding the dimensions of firm sustainability performance by being the first paper to investigate this relationship in the context of small and medium manufacturers of supercars

  • 6.
    Temiz, Serdar
    et al.
    Department of Industrial Economics and Management, KTH-Royal Institute of Technology.
    Brown, Terrence
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Business Administration, Technology and Social Sciences, Business Administration and Industrial Engineering.
    Open data project for e-government: case study of Stockholm open data project2017In: International Journal of Electronic Governance, ISSN 1742-7509, E-ISSN 1742-7517, Vol. 9, no 1/2, p. 55-84Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The aim of research is to explore the open data phenomenon using the city as the level of analysis. We used Kassen's (2013) local level framework as a base but adopt it to Europe, expand and elaborate Kassen's discussion of local open data initiatives using the Stockholm open data platform. The Stockholm open data project is evaluated from three perspectives: legal, political and economic environments. Open data activities are further evaluated in terms of the main features of open data defined by the Open Knowledge Foundation (2015) including: availability and access, reuse and redistribution, and universal participation. The impact of opening the data is evaluated against the three common reasons described by Open Knowledge (2015): transparency, releasing social and commercial value, and participation and engagement. We found that projects promoting open data initiatives, are more similar to 'closed' platforms that provides APIs.

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