Title: Design thinking in online communities: suggestions for overcoming crowdsourcing issues

Authors: Jason B. MacDonald; Mohammad Niamat Elahee

Addresses: Department of Marketing and Finance, Boise State University, 1910 University Drive, Boise, Idaho, 83708, USA ' Department of International Business, Quinnipiac University, Hamden, Connecticut, USA

Abstract: This paper is positioned at the intersection of two emerging trends in business: 'design thinking' (DT) and 'crowdsourcing'. DT is a new problem-solving protocol that is commonly used in offline environment but is increasingly being applied to online networks in an effort to tap into online crowds. This paper argues that the application of DT can solve various issues that managers grapple with in crowdsourcing. We further posit that network and consumer behaviour theories can be used to create contributor profiles that include information on the structure of relationships. This relationship information is suggested to help other participants and facilitators better evaluate and manage the contributions of crowd members.

Keywords: design thinking; crowdsourcing; innovation; social networks; market mavens; opinion leaders; online communities; internet marketing; web based communities; virtual communities; network theory; consumer behaviour theory; contributor profiles; relationship structures.

DOI: 10.1504/IJIL.2016.075655

International Journal of Innovation and Learning, 2016 Vol.19 No.3, pp.286 - 298

Received: 26 Jun 2014
Accepted: 25 Sep 2014

Published online: 17 Feb 2016 *

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