A crowdsourcing model for continual collaboration between companies and their consumers
Crowdsourcing is a business model in which a given task is resolved or resources are accumulated from a large, diverse group of otherwise unrelated persons, often over the Internet, and normally for an incentive that is not necessarily monetary. Several models have been proposed and platforms developed, but most are faced by two key challenges. First, the resource investment required to develop and maintain enterprise-owned platforms often outweighs the benefits to be accrued for many organizations, and secondly, most outsourced crowdsourcing platforms fail to actively foster continual collaboration between the company and its consumers. The research studies the crowdsourcing models currently applied globally. This was achieved by randomly selecting crowdsourcing platforms and projects and categorizing them into identified models. These models were then compared for their support of collaboration based on criteria determined in this study as required by the research design selected – descriptive comparative research design. The factors supporting collaboration were then identified and used to design a model specifically designed to support continual collaboration between companies and their consumers. Community-based crowdsourcing models such as collective collaboration and crowd funding displayed the highest levels of collaboration. The resultant model proposes that the maintenance of the community and developing the tools be separated from the actual undertaking of crowdsourcing activities. This allows companies to continually collaborate with their consumers at a significantly reduced cost due to the economies of scale. In addition to the proposed model, other results of the research include criteria of collecting and comparing data on support a crowdsourcing platform provides for collaboration, and a refinement of the models usable for classifying crowdsourcing projects and platforms.