How to Work a Crowd: Developing Crowd Capital Through Crowdsourcing

9 Pages Posted: 29 Jun 2014 Last revised: 13 Feb 2015

See all articles by John Prpić PhD

John Prpić PhD

Thompson Rivers University

Prashant Shukla

Accenture Institute for High Performance

Jan Kietzmann

Segal Graduate School of Business

Ian P. McCarthy

Simon Fraser University (SFU) - Beedie School of Business

Date Written: May 30, 2014

Abstract

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, 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 don’t 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 addresses key decision-areas that executives need to address to effectively engage crowds.

Keywords: Crowds, Crowdsourcing, Crowd Capital, Crowd Capability, Knowledge Resources

Suggested Citation

Prpić, John and Shukla, Prashant and Kietzmann, Jan and McCarthy, Ian P., How to Work a Crowd: Developing Crowd Capital Through Crowdsourcing (May 30, 2014). Prpić, J., Shukla, P.P., Kietzmann, J.H., & McCarthy, I.P. (2015). How to Work a Crowd: Developing Crowd Capital Through Crowdsourcing. Business Horizons, Volume 58, Issue 1, Pages 77-85.. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2459881

John Prpić

Thompson Rivers University ( email )

900 McGill Road
IB2008
Kamloops, BC V2C 5N3
Canada

Prashant Shukla (Contact Author)

Accenture Institute for High Performance ( email )

800 Boylston Street
Suite 2300
Boston, MA Massachusetts 02199

Jan Kietzmann

Segal Graduate School of Business ( email )

500 Granville Street
Vancouver, British Columbia V6C 1W6
Canada
7787825187 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://beedie.sfu.ca/profiles/JanKietzmann

Ian P. McCarthy

Simon Fraser University (SFU) - Beedie School of Business ( email )

8888 University Drive
Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6
Canada

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