The ‘official’ definition of the term we introduced by Jeff Howe, who has defined crowdsourcing as ‘the act of a company or institution taking a function once performed by employees and outsourcing it to an undefined (and generally large) network of people in the form of an open call’.
Crowdsourcing describes a process of organising labour, where firms distribute work to some form of (normally online) community, offering payment for anyone within the ‘crowd’ who completes the task the firm has set. The advantages of crowdsourcing for a firm are access to large community of workers with diversified skills and expertise who are ready to complete work in a short time and generally for less money compared to performing the task in-house.
Some firms have use crowdsourcing by publishing tasks on their own websites. However, a more effective way of accessing the crowd may be through the services of online websites or crowdsourcing communities, which act as markets for customers to interact with the crowds.
Whitla, P., 2009. Crowdsourcing and its application in marketing activities.Contemporary Management Research, 5(1).
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