Crowdsourcing: Global search and the twisted roles of consumers and producers

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Crowdsourcing spreads and morphs quickly, shaping areas as diverse as creating, organizing, and sharing knowledge; producing digital artifacts; providing services involving tangible assets; or monitoring and evaluating. Crowdsourcing as sourcing by means of ‘global search’; yields four types of values for sourcing actors: creative expertise, critical items, execution capacity, and bargaining power. It accesses cheap excess capacities at the work realm’;s margins, channeling them toward production. Provision and utilization of excess capacities rationalize society while intimately connecting to a broader societal trend twisting consumers’; and producers’; roles: leading toward ‘working consumers’; and ‘consuming producers’; and shifting power toward the latter. Similarly, marketers using crowdsourcing’;s look and feel to camouflage traditional approaches to bringing consumers under control preserve producer power.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)661-681
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 27.09.2015
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Thomas Gegenhuber thanks the Austrian Academy of Sciences for funding his work.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, © The Author(s) 2015.

    Research areas

  • Brand communities, control, crowdsourcing, digital labor, global search, marketing, open innovation, prosumer, sharing economy, working consumers
  • Management studies