How to Find Answers within Your Company

13 Pages Posted: 2 Aug 2010 Last revised: 13 Dec 2013

See all articles by Hind Benbya

Hind Benbya

Deakin University

Marshall W. Van Alstyne

Boston University - Department of Management Information Systems; Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School

Date Written: August 2, 2010


Internal markets can improve knowledge sharing, information exchange, forecasting, innovation, and productivity within the firm. Despite their widespread popularity, however, the strategies to implement and manage markets inside organizational boundaries are not well understood. This article provides a design framework for developing knowledge markets inside firms; it provides a stage model or ‘life cycle’ of internal market development, and explores critical issues at each stage. Our framework proceeds from an analysis of more than three dozen firm implementations, and builds on three economic theories: price theory, monetary theory, and two-sided network theory. For each stage of implementation, the framework outlines the challenges faced by firms studied and identifies solutions to make knowledge markets work. The resulting blueprint adds rigor to the difficult tasks of measuring, valuing, and stimulating the production of information.

Keywords: Knowledge Markets, Internal Crowdsourcing, Virtual Currencies, Information Markets, Knowledge Management Systems, Productivity, Internal Markets, Two-Sided Networks, Price Theory, Monetary Policy, Incentives, IT Adoption, Measurement

JEL Classification: D8, E31, E52, L86, M10, O31, O32, O42

Suggested Citation

Benbya, Hind and Van Alstyne, Marshall W., How to Find Answers within Your Company (August 2, 2010). Sloan Management Review, V52, N2; pp 66-77, (2011), Boston U. School of Management Research Paper No. 2010-24 , MIT Sloan Research Paper No. 5072-10, Available at SSRN:

Hind Benbya

Deakin University ( email )

221, Burwood Highway
Melbourne, VIC 3125

Marshall W. Van Alstyne (Contact Author)

Boston University - Department of Management Information Systems ( email )

595 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United States
617-358-3571 (Phone)


Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School ( email )

Initiative on the Digital Economy
245 First St, Room E94-1521
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
617-253-0768 (Phone)


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