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About this book

This book conceptualises and develops crowdsourcing as an organisational business process. It argues that although for many organisations crowdsourcing still implies an immature one-off endeavour, when developed to a more repeatable business process it can harness innovation and agility. The book offers a process model to guide organisations towards the establishment of business process crowdsourcing (BPC), and empirically showcases and evaluates the model using two current major crowdsourcing projects. In order to consolidate the domain knowledge, the BPC model is turned into a heavyweight ontology capturing the concepts, hierarchical relationships and decision-making relationships necessary to establish crowdsourcing as a business process in an organisation. Lastly, based on the ontology it presents a decision tool that provides advice on making informed decisions about the performance of business process crowdsourcing activities.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1. Introduction

Crowdsourcing can be an efficient organisational strategy to harness innovation and agility by distributing work to Internet users. As crowdsourcing is different from other business strategies, organisations are often unsure about how to structure different crowdsourcing activities. Managing this problem, this book conceptualises and develops crowdsourcing as an organisational business process. To open the book, this chapter gives an introduction to business process crowdsourcing, as a necessary development to move crowdsourcing from an unstructured, immature form towards a more structured repeatable process. The chapter then sets the scene by defining the research objectives, presenting the research approach, and pointing out the contributions.
Nguyen Hoang Thuan

Chapter 2. Background

Crowdsourcing has been studied in a variety of domains, which makes the body of knowledge hard to be organised. To help readers understand key aspects of crowdsourcing and provide organised foundation for the book, this chapter presents a focused literature review of crowdsourcing research. The review covers three major strands. The first strand examines the conceptualisation of crowdsourcing. It shows main pillars behind crowdsourcing and provides a definition of the concept. The second strand reviews basic classifications in the crowdsourcing domain: applications, tasks, members, and platforms, which are essential for exploring crowdsourcing processes. The last strand assesses the current state of crowdsourcing processes and business process crowdsourcing. It shows that business process crowdsourcing is important to establish repeatable crowdsourcing processes. It also shows that the domain is still in an early state with a small amount of related literature, which needs to be further conceptualised, structured, and supported.
Nguyen Hoang Thuan

Chapter 3. Business Process Crowdsourcing: Building Blocks

Business process crowdsourcing (BPC) is promising to establish repeatable crowdsourcing processes. To this end, we need an antecedent that there exist repeatable building blocks of crowdsourcing processes. This chapter analyses existing knowledge sources for synthesising the main building blocks of business process crowdsourcing. We conducted a scoping review of domain knowledge sources through a systematic process. The process retrieved 877 sources from eight bibliographic databases and finally considered 238 sources relevant to BPC. Analysing the sources, the results reveal the major building blocks of BPC. Of them, there are twelve most salient BPC building blocks supported by at least ten reviewed sources. These building blocks confirm the antecedent of BPC and properly constitute business processes of crowdsourcing. Further, the identified building blocks and synthesised knowledge provide raw materials for the next research stages reported in the rest of the book.
Nguyen Hoang Thuan

Chapter 4. Business Process Crowdsourcing: Model and Case Study

There are many calls for further studying business process crowdsourcing (BPC), especially how to guide organisations in their BPC establishment. Addressing these calls, a few models and frameworks of crowdsourcing processes have been proposed. However, they focus more on technical aspects of crowdsourcing systems rather than the business processes operated on these systems. Furthermore, most of the models proposed so far have not yet been empirically evaluated. Fulfilling the identified gap, this chapter develops a conceptual model guiding organisations to establish BPC. Using the identified building blocks extracted in the previous chapter, we constructed a process model of BPC consisting of seven components faithfully representing BPC. The model was evaluated using the case study approach. Two real crowdsourcing projects were used for this evaluation. The results indicate that the model is adequate and useful in structuring the main crowdsourcing activities.
Nguyen Hoang Thuan

Chapter 5. Ontology of Business Process Crowdsourcing

While various aspects of crowdsourcing processes have been studied, an ontological structure that organisations can use to establish business process crowdsourcing (BPC) is still missing. This chapter fills the gap by building an ontology of business process crowdsourcing. We analysed the knowledge sources extracted by our scoping review to identify main concepts, hierarchical relationships, and decision-making relationships defining BPC. These elements were then organised into a lightweight ontology considering BPC building blocks, business processes, data entities, data attributes, and their hierarchical relationships. Then, decision-making relationships were added, which turns the ontology into a heavyweight ontology. To evaluate the ontology, we compared it with an automated ontology generated by OntoGen. The results show high coverage and clarity of our constructed ontology. The BPC ontology is significant as it extends the conceptual model in the previous chapter and provides a knowledge base for organisations to establish business process crowdsourcing.
Nguyen Hoang Thuan

Chapter 6. Business Process Crowdsourcing: Decision Support Tool

Establishing business process crowdsourcing (BPC) involves multiple activities, contextual factors and choices, which makes managerial decisions difficult. This chapter manages the difficulty by proposing a decision tool supporting BPC establishment, operationalising the ontological knowledge base developed in the previous chapter. The tool helps make the decision to crowdsource or not, and choose appropriate design alternatives for the crowdsourcing process. The decision tool was carefully evaluated using experiments with 190 participants and two focus groups. The experiment results show that the tool is useful by significantly increasing: the performance in making the decision to crowdsource or not, and the design of crowdsourcing processes. The focus group results likely confirm the utility of the tool, especially regarding its ability to structure and provide useful information in establishing BPC. With these empirical results, this chapter contributes to move forward the theoretical efforts in conceptualising the BPC phenomenon.
Nguyen Hoang Thuan

Chapter 7. Discussion and Conclusion

The preceding chapters of the book have presented a set of artefacts that supports business process crowdsourcing (BPC) establishment. This chapter examines them from a more integrated perspective, highlighting the interrelated nature of the research. From this perspective, the research results are interrelated in structuring the BPC domain, starting from diverse unstructured knowledge sources, to abstract conceptualisation, to an ontological structure, and finally to the instantiated decision tool supporting BPC establishment. Then, the chapter highlights major research contributions, discusses future research, and finally concludes the book. In conclusion of this book, we are positive towards the establishment of crowdsourcing as an organisational business process. The conceptual model, ontology, and decision tool, constructed and validated in the research, should be used to support the establishment. Consequently, this book offers a body of knowledge for business process crowdsourcing, as a first attempt to establish the chosen phenomenon.
Nguyen Hoang Thuan


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