Business & Information Systems Engineering

, Volume 58, Issue 4, pp 281–286 | Cite as

Crowd Work

  • David Durward
  • Ivo Blohm
  • Jan Marco Leimeister

Crowd Work as a New Form of Digital Work

Crowd Work is a phenomenon of the digital economy as well as of the modern IT era. It provides a great potential for changing the way in which businesses create value. For instance, the gold producer Goldcorp1 made its geographical databases available to the public and offered a prize to anyone who could tell them where to find gold. The results of this open call enabled Goldcorp to increase its gold production from 53,000 to 504,000 oz a year, while it cut production costs from $360 to $59 per ounce. As a consequence, the value of Goldcorp increased from $100 million to $9 billion. This example illustrates Crowd Work as a form of gainful employment that creates digital goods and services by using human, informational, and physical resources or makes extant use of digital tools (Alter 2013). In general, work is a purposeful and conscious activity. By contrast, gainful employment denotes the part of work individuals expend to ensure the means of...


Crowd work Crowdsourcing Digital work Division of labor 



The authors express their gratitude to the Hans-Böckler-Stiftung (HBS), the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the Foundation for European Progressive Studies (FEPS) for assistance in writing this article. This catchword was composed as part of the project “Crowd Work – Arbeiten in der Wolke” financed by the Hans-Böckler Stiftung.


  1. Alter S (2013) Work system theory: overview of core concepts, extensions, and challenges for the future. J Assoc Inf Syst 14(2):72–121Google Scholar
  2. Brynjolfsson E, McAfee A (2014) The second machine age: work, progress, and prosperity in a time of brilliant technologies. WW Norton & Company, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  3. Hammon D-KL, Hippner H (2012) Crowdsourcing. Bus Inf Syst Eng 4(3):163–166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Kuek SC, Paradi-Guilford C, Fayomi T, Imaizumi S, Ipeirotis P, Pina P, Singh M (2015) The global opportunity in online outsourcing. World Bank Group, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  5. Leimeister JM (2012) Crowdsourcing. Control Manag 56(6):388–392Google Scholar
  6. Powell W (1990) Neither market nor hierarchy. In: Handel MJ (ed) The sociology of organizations: classic, contemporary, and critical readings. Research in organizational behavior. Sage, Thousand Oaks, pp 104–117Google Scholar
  7. Zogaj S, Bretschneider U, Leimeister JM (2014) Managing crowdsourced software testing: a case study based insight on the challenges of a crowdsourcing intermediary. J Bus Econ 84(3):375–405CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Durward
    • 1
  • Ivo Blohm
    • 2
  • Jan Marco Leimeister
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Information SystemsUniversity of KasselKasselGermany
  2. 2.Institute of Information ManagementUniversity of St. GallenSt. GallenSwitzerland

Personalised recommendations