Governing Crowds Solving Ill-structured Innovation Problems



Current theories of crowdsourced search, in which individual crowd participants autonomously offer solutions for solving a broadcasted problem, suggest that firms constrain their search to well-structured problems, leaving ill-structured problems not being crowdsourced. We theorize that both ill- and well-structured problems can be crowdsourced, but with different theoretically derived governance approaches. We hypothesize that crowds asked to solve ill-structured problems offer innovative solutions when governed to better frame the problem by offering their problem frames and integrating others as they solve it.  We conduct a field study of over a thousand participants in 20 different crowdsourcing events with interventions for different governance approaches applied to the different events. We find evidence for our hypothesis and offer implications for future research.

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Meeting ID: 992 3376 4553