Towards an information systems perspective and research agenda on crowdsourcing for innovation

New paper by A Majchrzak and A Malhotra in The Journal of Strategic Information Systems: “Recent years have seen an increasing emphasis on open innovation by firms to keep pace with the growing intricacy of products and services and the ever changing needs of the markets. Much has been written about open innovation and its manifestation in the form of crowdsourcing. Unfortunately, most management research has taken the information system (IS) as a given. In this essay we contend that IS is not just an enabler but rather can be a shaper that optimizes open innovation in general and crowdsourcing in particular. This essay is intended to frame crowdsourcing for innovation in a manner that makes more apparent the issues that require research from an IS perspective. In doing so, we delineate the contributions that the IS field can make to the field of crowdsourcing.

  • Reviews participation architectures supporting current crowdsourcing, finding them inadequate for innovation development by the crowd.

  • Identifies 3 tensions for explaining why a participation architecture for crowdsourced innovation is difficult.

  • Identifies affordances for the participation architectures that may help to manage the tension.

  • Uses the tensions and possible affordances to identify research questions for IS scholars.”