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Abstract

Crowdsourcing is an emerging trend of using the crowd to solve organizational tasks that can offer companies various benefits. However, companies often have difficulty realizing value from crowdsourcing partly because of a lack of knowledge about what kind of crowdsourcing approach will fit their tasks. Also, companies need to understand how to codify task requirements and what incentives to provide to the crowd for different types of tasks. Given the absence of prior research to answer these questions, this article aims to address this knowledge gap. Deriving from the literature, we identified three crowdsourcing approaches and two characteristics to categorize tasks that can determine the appropriate approach. We then performed an analysis of eighty successful tasks from eight popular crowdsourcing websites to understand the appropriate approaches and task specification requirements for the tasks. We also interviewed sixteen participants (two from each website) to identify the motivations for solving different kinds of tasks. Based on the analysis, we propose a framework to match task types with appropriate crowdsourcing approaches, requirement specificity, and motivations of the crowd. Accordingly, we provide guidelines to companies on how to select the appropriate crowdsourcing mechanism for each type of task.

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