The viability of crowdsourcing : a supply side market survey

Strauss, D Niel (2011-03)

Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2011.


Crowdsourcing is a new phenomenon, giving companies the ability to tap into the wisdom of crowds in order to solve complex problems, often at a fraction of the cost. In this document, the viability of crowdsourcing from the supply side is investigated with a market research questionnaire at the core of the research. Firstly, an overview of the current online crowdsourcing landscape is given with a focus on the big players, followed by a literature study on the motivation of solvers and their associated compensation needs. Because of the nature of crowdsourcing, an assumption is made that knowledge workers will be the biggest contributors in the form of solvers; this presumption is demonstrated by analysing responses to the questionnaire. The following research question is answered: What are the needs and profile of the solvers (supply side) of an internet platform that uses the principle of crowdsourcing to solve complex problems? It also answers the questions of many online crowdsourcing enthusiasts with regards to the typical solver and what their needs are, specifically with regards to compensation structures on these platforms. The typical solver profile was found to be predominantly male between the ages of 19 and 37, with a tertiary education or busy earning a degree of some sort and a strong will to become wealthy through applying this knowledge. These typical solvers have a primary objective to earn money with 100 per cent of the incentive paid to one „winner‟. They will participate more than three times even if they do not „win‟ the challenge and expect to earn more that R1 000 but less than R10 000 per day for this type of work. Certain limitations of the study are also addressed, like the clear self-selection bias and difficulty to generalise the findings to a well-defined group of people, as became evident from analysing questionnaire findings.

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