Leveraging collective intelligence: How to design and manage crowd-based business models

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Advances in digital technologies have increased the possibilities for outsourcing business activities to crowds of independent contributors. Using the collective intelligence of a crowd opens a new range of business opportunities. In fact, crowdsourcing has led to the emergence of entirely new business models. Such crowd-based business models (CBBMs) can lead to an important competitive advantage while simultaneously presenting new challenges to entrepreneurs and executives. This article identifies and discusses three key challenges in designing and managing CBBMs: determining (1) the crowd's value to the firm, (2) how to create superior value for the crowd, and (3) how to capture value from the crowd effectively. Building on the crowd capital perspective and an analysis of the tactics and practices of successful CBBMs, this article offers propositions on how to overcome these challenges and manage such business models effectively. The identified practices can inspire decision makers when designing innovative CBBMs for their industries. Finally, the article concludes with a framework with the key decisions and tactics for effectively managing CBBMs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)237-245
JournalBusiness Horizons
Issue number2
Early online date13 Dec 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Crowd-based business modelsCrowdsourcingValue co-creationCrowd valueCollective intelligenceValue creation strategies


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