Understanding crowdsourcing projects: A review on the key design elements of a crowdsourcing initiative

Karachiwalla, Rea; Pinkow, Felix

FG Technologie- und Innovationsmanagement

Crowdsourcing has gained considerable traction over the past decade and has emerged as a powerful tool in the innovation process of organizations. Given its growing significance in practice, a profound understanding of the concept is crucial. The goal of this study is to develop a comprehensive understanding of designing crowdsourcing projects for innovation by identifying and analyzing critical design elements of crowdsourcing contests. Through synthesizing the principles of the social exchange theory and absorptive capacity, this study provides a novel conceptual configuration that accounts for both the attraction of solvers and the ability of the crowdsourcer to capture value from crowdsourcing contests. Therefore, this paper adopts a morphological approach to structure the four dimensions, namely, (i) task, (ii) crowd, (iii) platform and (iv) crowdsourcer, into a conceptual framework to present an integrated overview of the various crowdsourcing design options. The morphological analysis allows the possibility of identifying relevant interdependencies between design elements, based on the goals of the problem to be crowdsourced. In doing so, the paper aims to enrich the extant literature by providing a comprehensive overview of crowdsourcing and to serve as a blueprint for practitioners to make more informed decisions when designing and executing crowdsourcing projects.