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Crowdsourcing the ecosystem’s expectations: a decision-making process to manage the unmanageable

Haydn Shaughnessy (Research Fellow at the Center for Business Transformation, University of California at Irvine and a 25-year veteran of the hi-tech industry, is the author of The Elastic Enterprise (Telemachus Press, 2012) and a contributor to He and Professor Mikael Collan, Professor of Accounting at Lappeenranta University of Technology, School of Business collaborated on some of the research techniques in this article.[1])

Strategy & Leadership

ISSN: 1087-8572

Article publication date: 13 May 2014




The author warns that nowadays a company must learn to be “co-productive” with an app developer community, a supplier community, a content community, an advocacy community or a customer ecosystem in order to stay competitive through continuous innovation. Leaders need new tools to promote informed decisions.


The article shows how companies monitoring dynamic ecosystem change can develop crowd-based reporting scorecards to guide decision making.


Increasingly it is the innovations and expertise of the ecosystem, not the talents and resources of the firm, that are crucial to its future wealth generation. But many of the consequences of ecosystem change are, in fact, unmanageable in any traditional sense. An experimental way to identify the uncertainty produced by a dynamic ecosystem offers decision support.

Practical implications

The uncertainty monitoring experiments described in this article can clarify the risk levels and the need for preparatory investments. They offer a high level view of the dynamics of the new market ecosystem environment.


This article offers cutting-edge insights for managers struggling to make decisions about investments related to the dynamic ecosystem of users, suppliers, partners and customers in their companies’ markets.



Shaughnessy, H. (2014), "Crowdsourcing the ecosystem’s expectations: a decision-making process to manage the unmanageable", Strategy & Leadership, Vol. 42 No. 3, pp. 3-8.



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