Is The Crowdsourcing World Flat? – #OUI2014

harvard business school

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Today, I presented at Open & User Innovation Conference, at Harvard Business School, with two fellow crowdsourcing researchers from Canada (Prashant Shukla & John Prpic). Our talk, titled “Is the World Flat? Unpacking the Geography of Crowd Capital,” presented early results of a research about crowdsourcing participation across the globe. We’ve received very constructive comments from the audience, and are now looking forward to the rest of the conference. The setting is prestigious enough to make you want to learn about open and user innovation.

The abstract of our paper is the following:

How does the geographic location of individual crowd members effect crowdsourcing participation and outcomes? How do variations in contest design effect crowdsourcing participation and outcomes by country and region? In this work we begin to answer these important questions by empirically testing the effects of geography and contest design on crowdsourcing participation and outcomes. Using data from a global creative crowdsourcing site, we utilize Crowd Capital Theory with data encompassing 1,858,202 observations from 28,214 crowd members on 94 different projects, to test our hypotheses based on the premise that the crowdsourcing is much like the real world not a flat one. Using multiple probit regressions to isolate the geographic effects, we find significant variation across countries and regions on crowdsourcing participation and outcomes, and further, significant effects of contest design on participation and outcomes by country and region. Our work makes new and useful contributions to the literature on crowdsourcing and creative competitions used for open innovation, ascertaining that the world is still not flat even in case of tournaments on IT platforms with global reach. This is also the first work to empirically measure the distinct stages of resource creation from IT-mediated crowds; in doing so we validate Crowd Capital Theory as a model for resource creation from IT-mediated crowds.

You will find a couple of findings in the below slides, which are the the slides we presented today at HBS. What do you think of it? Do you know of research that looks at the global nature of crowdsourcing and its geographical distribution? Do you have any comments about what you see in the below presentation?

If yes, we’d love to hear from you (you are also invited to  comment below this post) as we want to push this research further. If you want to read the paper (and give us some feedback about it 😉 ) I’d be happy to send it over too. Thanks a lot!


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