Ecis seminar by Christopher Tucci,

27 June
12:30 - 13:30

Title: Defining the crowd organization


In this paper (with Joana Pereira and Gianluigi Viscusi), we question crowdsourcing and co-creation from an organizational perspective, aiming to provide a theoretical background for further empirical research on the topic. Firms in their crowdsourcing strategies may organize agents in different modes, spanning from crowds to communities. o this end, along a set of theoretical propositions, we define crowd organization as an organization made up of agents that are loosely coupled, equally-aligned through self-selection, follow constitutive rules and achieve their goals through a set of activities characterized by seriality, thus enacting generativity and capacity for spontaneous innovation.  Consequently, the modes of crowd organization may vary with the control mechanisms applied and with the output; encompassing what in this paper are called “crowd-driven,” “crowd-based,” and “crowded” organizations. We argue that each of these modes exemplifies potential basic characteristics suitable to define how the organizations of different types of online collectivities are derived from the others (even if the characteristics are not themselves derived from another) or allow approaching the boundaries without necessarily surpassing them. The final goal of this paper is not only to call attention to the variance among online collectives and how their characteristics shape the way that they are organized efficiently, but also to propose how managers might resort to “crowd tuning” to get the right “frequency” of crowdedness for crowd organizations and their consequent generative capacity for innovation or production.