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Collaborative Value Co-Creation in Crowd-Sourced Online Communities – Acknowledging and Resolving Competing Commercial and Communal Orientations

Research in Consumer Behavior

ISBN: 978-1-78052-116-9, eISBN: 978-1-78052-117-6

Publication date: 7 November 2011


Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to explore the orientations of consumer and company participants who participate in online crowd-sourced communities.

Methodology/Approach – Using a netnographic approach, we analysed the Nokia Design by Community (NDbC) crowd-sourced information contest, which was organised by Nokia in order to co-create a vision of the community's ‘dream’ Nokia device.

Findings – The findings reveal that community members' social orientations were dramatically different from the host organisation's narrow commercial focus, which led to unresolved tensions and as we posit, the ultimate failure of the initiative.

Research implications – The contemporary discourse on collaborative value co-creation potentially overemphasises the commercial objectives of organisations by failing to acknowledge the need for organisations to address the complex communal objectives and motivations of members of crowd-sourced communities.

Practical implications – Organisations need to acknowledge and address the complex and dynamic communal and commercial tensions that inherently emerge in online crowd-sourced communities. They need to adopt a tribal marketing approach and respectfully engage with community members if the diverse objectives of community members and the host organisations are to be satisfactorily met.

Originality/Value – Organisations and researchers need to recognise and acknowledge that crowdsourcing both begets communal conflict and fosters collaborative behaviour due to contested commercial and social orientations. While mindful of their commercial objectives, organisations will succeed in implementing online crowd-sourcing initiatives if they make a sincere effort to understand and respect the diversity, culture and social norms of the particular crowd-sourced online community concerned.



Kelleher, C., Whalley, A. and Helkkula, A. (2011), "Collaborative Value Co-Creation in Crowd-Sourced Online Communities – Acknowledging and Resolving Competing Commercial and Communal Orientations", Belk, R.W., Grayson, K., Muñiz, A.M. and Jensen Schau, H. (Ed.) Research in Consumer Behavior (Research in Consumer Behavior, Vol. 13), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 1-18.



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