Internal crowdsourcing: conceptual framework, structured review, and research agenda

Abstract

The use of IT-enabled crowdsourcing with employees in enterprises has increased substantially in recent years. This phenomenon, which we refer to as ‘internal crowdsourcing’, is distinct both from external crowdsourcing with end users and from hierarchy-based work with employees. A literature stream has emerged that corresponds with the increased relevance of internal crowdsourcing in practice. The purpose of this review paper of internal crowdsourcing is to provide conceptual development, synthesise the literature, and provide a research agenda. In the review reported in this paper, we systematically analysed and critically reviewed the literature in this domain published thus far (74 papers). We found useful findings and insights into a new and relevant IT-enabled phenomenon. At the same time, we also found conflicting definitions and conceptualisation, as well as research efforts that are not well integrated. The paper supports future research on internal crowdsourcing by providing improved conceptualisation, consolidating insights, and identifying important areas for future research.

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Figure 1

Notes

  1. 1.

    To make reading of this paper easier, we consistently use the terms ‘enterprises’ to refer to business enterprises and organisations more broadly, ‘employees’ to refer to members of such enterprises or organisations, and ‘end users’ to mean independent external people such as customers, consumers, or the general public.

  2. 2.

    The Australian Research Council’s (ARC) ‘Excellence in Research for Australia 2010’ reports rated (all) academic journals and conference and they are the most comprehensive of such assessment reports available. The ARC has released a newer assessment report (2014) that does not include ratings. We used outlet ratings for our review because they were helpful as a first indication of quality of outlets unknown to us (i.e., we acknowledge that there are problems and shortcomings with such rating approaches in general).

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Zuchowski, O., Posegga, O., Schlagwein, D. et al. Internal crowdsourcing: conceptual framework, structured review, and research agenda. J Inf Technol 31, 166–184 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1057/jit.2016.14

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Keywords

  • internal crowdsourcing
  • enterprise crowdsourcing
  • corporate crowdsourcing
  • business crowdsourcing
  • organisational crowdsourcing
  • conceptual framework
  • definition
  • conceptualisation
  • literature review
  • state-of-the-art
  • research agenda