Crowdsourcing: Looking for a Pattern

Crowdsourcing: Looking for a Pattern



Crowdsourcing: Looking for a Pattern


Maria Colurcio, Stella Carè, Angela Caridà, Monia Melia

Classification JEL



During last years the relevance of crowdsourcing has increased both among scholars and practitioners: about the 85% of the Best Global Brands developed crowdsourcing projects during last 10 years (eYeca, Annual Report 2015) and the bibliometric indexes on the topic show an increasing trend (ISI WEB of Knowledge, 2016) of publications. Collaboration and, more specifically, the integration of resources of different actors (Caridà et al., 2014) now arise as pre-conditions for the definition of the process of value creation which business model have to be addressed to (Zott et al., 2011). The crowd is a relevant source of innovation for firms (Brem, Bilgram, 2015) and the collective creativity (Boulaire et al. 2010) that it expresses (Majchrzach, Malorta 2013; Colurcio et al., 2012) is a valuable contribution as it matches knowledge and creative potential belonging to several individuals (Peppler, Solomou, 2011). Collective creativity is a unique and not replicable resource that come from interaction between many different actors (Hargadon, Bechky 2006). The role of social media for the development of the interaction (Kozinets, Hemetsberger, Schau, 2008) is particularly emphasized and attention focuses on collaboration between business / brand and the crowd for the generation of ideas for the development of new products (Pitta, Fowler, 2005; Boudreau, Lakhani, 2013). However, despite the relevance of crowdsourcing as source of innovation and modes for co-creating value, contributes on the strategic implication of the topic for both practitioners and researches remain on a theoretical level (Prpić et al., 2015). Indeed, studies that deal with crowdsourcing in a practical perspective of the value co-creation are scant so far. This study advances knowledge about crowdsourcing providing both theoretical and managerial fresh insights. First, it contributes to the theoretical debate as depict crowdsourcing according a value co-creation framework and enhances study on resource integration (which remains conceptual so far) by empirical evidences, a literature review and the analysis of crowdsourcing in Italy. Second, the study outlines a management practice of crowdsourcing which track for innovative business model design. The paper provides illustrations of different crowdsourcing alternatives, as performed by Italian companies and investigates in depth an Italian successful case. The contribution to the debate on the topic consists in proposing a managerial practice to draw up a crowdsourcing project.


Crowdsourcing, co-creation, value, practice.

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