Marginality and team building in collaborative crowdsourcing

Rong Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Purpose: Existing studies on crowdsourcing have focused on analyzing isolated contributions by individual participants and thus collaboration dynamics among them are under-investigated. The value of implementing crowdsourcing in problem solving lies in the aggregation of wisdom from a crowd. This study examines how marginality affects collaboration in crowdsourcing. Design/methodology/approach: With population level data collected from a global crowdsourcing community (openideo.com), this study applied social network analysis and in particular bipartite exponential random graph modeling (ERGM) to examine how individual level marginality variables (measured as the degree of being located at the margin) affect the team formation in collaboration crowdsourcing. Findings: Significant effects of marginality are attributed to collaboration skills, number of projects won, community tenure and geolocation. Marginality effects remain significant after controlling for individual level and team level attributes. However, marginality alone cannot explain collaboration dynamics. Participants with leadership experience or more winning ideas are also more likely to be selected as team members. Originality/value: The core contribution this research makes is the conceptualization and definition of marginality as a mechanism in influencing collaborative crowdsourcing. This study conceptualizes marginality as a multidimensional concept and empirically examines its effect on team collaboration, connecting the literature on crowdsourcing to online collaboration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)827-846
Number of pages20
JournalOnline Information Review
Volume44
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 23 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The author would like to thank Dr. Francois Bar at University of Southern California (USC) and Dr. Michelle Shumate at Northwestern University for their comments on earlier drafts of this paper. This study was funded by the Annenberg School of Communication at USC.

Funding Information:
The author would like to thank Dr. Francois Bar at University of Southern California (USC) and Dr. Michelle Shumate at Northwestern University for their comments on earlier drafts of this paper. This study was funded by the Annenberg School of Communication at USC.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited.

Keywords

  • Crowdsourcing
  • ERGM
  • Marginality
  • Online collaboration
  • Openideo
  • Team assembly

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Library and Information Sciences

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