The present study aimed to examine the value creation process in an online forum community of a crowdsourcing company by analyzing members' interactions and network structures.
A mixed-method approach was adopted. First, a participation-observation netnographic approach was employed to identify the interactions that lead to the collective creation of three types of value: social, intellectual, and cultural. Second, using social network analysis, the collective value creation process was examined through the network structures, and the key actors and their roles in value creation were identified.
findings presented that members collectively create value in a unique manner for enhancing product designs in a crowdsourcing community. Three types of value coexisted and were often created inter-dependently. The interactions among the members were not dense yet were fairly knitted without any significant core-periphery structures, indicating a less restrained flow of value. The findings of the study identified that most of the bridging members in the network were likely to have diverse social and intellectual resources.
The present study was one of the first to examine the collective value creation process through a network perspective. In particular, this study offered a richer understanding of the unique collective value creation process in a crowdsourcing community and the role of bridging actors in the network. Implications for crowdsourcing companies are provided to sustain a continuous flow of quality contributions from the forum community members.
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