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The effectiveness of using crowdsourcing for improving information services: an action research approach

Ali Saif Said Al-Aufi (Department of Information Studies, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman)
Nabhan Al-Harrasi (Department of Information Studies, Sultan Qaboos University, Muscat, Oman)
Azhar Al-Abri (National Records and Archives Authority, Muscat, Oman)

Library Hi Tech

ISSN: 0737-8831

Article publication date: 4 February 2021

Issue publication date: 8 December 2022

327

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to identify the status of using crowdsourcing to develop information services through the Twitter platform and to determine the factors affecting such usage.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative action research approach was employed to achieve the objectives of the study and to provide answers to the research questions. The effectiveness of using crowdsourcing technique for improving information services has been explored through five procedural stages: diagnostics, action planning, action taking, evaluation and determined learning. Three tools were used to collect data: open interviews, content analysis of the sampled accounts on Twitter and users' perceptions regarding information services.

Findings

The results of the study revealed that crowdsourcing was not used in the development of information services per se, but it has been used for other purposes. The results also revealed that several factors influenced the adoption of using crowdsourcing to develop information services, including factors related to the institutional trust in crowds' capabilities, the nature of service and type of the needed development, and finally, the platform used to conduct crowdsourcing. The results of the action research proved that using crowdsourcing to develop information services could be effective.

Practical implications

The study suggests a model that can be used to test changes implemented in organizations, especially regarding adoption of crowdsourcing as a framework to achieve the objectives of the institution, particularly in the planning processes.

Originality/value

This research paper produces new knowledge through using a qualitative action research approach to understand the potential of social media in crowdsourcing. There have been no similar studies conducted in the region for the specified research design. The results add to the level of learning and raise awareness within the research community regarding the effectiveness of using crowdsourcing via social media platforms to improve the efficiency of information services.

Keywords

Citation

Al-Aufi, A.S.S., Al-Harrasi, N. and Al-Abri, A. (2022), "The effectiveness of using crowdsourcing for improving information services: an action research approach", Library Hi Tech, Vol. 40 No. 6, pp. 1658-1670. https://doi.org/10.1108/LHT-08-2020-0192

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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