The Management of Crowdsourcing to Solve Grand Societal Challenges

Research output: Contribution to JournalMeeting AbstractAcademic


We report on a longitudinal case study of a crowdsourcing initiative to tackle a grand societal challenge: ocean pollution. This initiative, called Our Ocean’s Challenge, represents an atypical case of crowdsourcing because it addresses a wicked problem that is not “owned” by a single organization, but instead involves multiple stakeholders. We found that even though Our Ocean’s Challenge did not follow best management praices of crowdsourcing, an unconventionally broad problem formulation, divergent evaluation criteria and provisional selection strategies helped partners cope effectively with the unique challenges of crowdsourcing in this context. We build on this insight to offer an alternative approach to crowdsourcing that tackles wicked problems by fostering flexible links between problems, participants and solutions to facilitate relationally complex problem solving.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAcademy of Management Proceedings
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017


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