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Abstract

Much crowdsourcing research has focused on behavioral and motivational aspects at the individual user level, but very few studies have examined the motivations of organizations for crowdsourcing. The limited extant research has examined managerial and technical factors influencing an organization’s decision to crowdsource, but they fail to take into consideration the temporal aspect that motivation may change over time from the initial implementation to continued participation. To address this research gap, this paper presents findings from an examination of the organizational motivations of a large national library to engage in crowdsourcing. Drawing on motivational theory for community involvement and motivations from IT outsourcing literature, the findings show that a national library was motivated by a set of goals that were dynamic and changing throughout the implementation of the crowdsourcing project. These motivations ranged initially from a cost reduction imperative through to improving access, acquiring external expertise, and facilitating social engagement. The study contributes to theory by extending our understanding of the changing nature of motivational factors for organizational crowdsourcing by highlighting the dynamic nature of both the origin and aim of motivation across time. Furthermore, as an additional contribution, we draw a parallel between motivations for crowdsourcing and motivations to outsource and found them to be comparable to some extent.

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