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Governance Considerations for Seeker–Solver Relationships: A Knowledge-Based Perspective in Crowdsourcing for Innovation Contests

  • Autori: Piazza, Mariangela; Mazzola, Erica; Acur, Nuran*; Perrone, Giovanni
  • Anno di pubblicazione: 2019
  • Tipologia: Articolo in rivista (Articolo in rivista)
  • OA Link:


The need to solve innovation problems and insource knowledge has led to an increasing number of organizations engaging in crowdsourcing activities and subsequently establishing working relationships with winning solution providers. Using a knowledge-based view and the problem-solving perspective, we develop a theoretical framework suggesting how specific innovation problem attributes (i.e. the decomposability, formulation and search space of the problem) influence the governance decision (unilateral vs. bilateral) of seekers to manage the relationship with winning solvers. We empirically analyse the framework using 582 challenges broadcast on the NineSigma crowdsourcing platform. Our results indicate that problem attributes – the formulation and search space of the problem – have a positive effect on seekers’ preference towards unilateral governance structures. However, we did not find any empirical confirmation of the effect that the decomposability of the innovation problem has on seekers’ preference towards unilateral governance structures. This study offers several contributions to the crowdsourcing literature, and also has important implications for managers of organizations aiming to insource knowledge through crowdsourcing for innovation contests.