Crowdsourcing strategy: how openness changes strategy work

  • Published September 27, 2016
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  • Article Info
    Volume 14 2016, Issue #3 (cont. 2), pp. 450-460
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    6 articles

Strategy development has traditionally been exclusive and secretive. Social software offers new opportunities to harness the collective intelligence of the crowd within organizations and allows more open, participatory modes of strategizing. This paper describes this new phenomenon of open strategy though crowdsourcing and discusses its implications for research and practice. It draws on first examples of crowdsourcing strategy and is further based on observations and theoretical reflections. To understand the phenomenon with its requirements and consequences, a number of questions and challenges are identified which remain to be investigated. These include how the process of opening up needs to be designed, how individuals can be motivated to engage, for which topics and under which conditions crowdsourcing strategy is a suitable approach, how strategies emerge in such initiatives, the appropriate role of management, and how corporate culture affects and is affected by crowdsourcing strategy. Open strategy through crowdsourcing is a newly emerging empirical phenomenon, which seems to fundamentally change the strategist’s work. More open and inclusive ways of strategizing not only offer new opportunities, but also create some challenges for organizations. This paper deepens the insights in this new phenomenon and identifies seven topics critical for research and management practice.

Keywords: strategy, crowdsourcing, collective intelligence.
JEL Classification: M19

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