Crowdsourcing As A Way Of Modern Economic Development Of Enterprises


The relevance of the chosen research topic is due to the current state of the market and the ever-increasing requirements for companies. Modern organizations must remain stable, successful and competitive. Crowdsourcing is one way to optimize the functioning of enterprises. Currently, crowdsourcing is being introduced into many areas of human life: business, art, medicine, science, etc. However, the issues of using crowdsourcing in the scientific literature have not been fully studied, which reflects the importance of the chosen research topic. In this study, the relationship of two modern management techniques was determined: outsourcing and crowdsourcing, which is shown as a logical extension of one management tool from another, the author defines the definition of outsourcing. The novelty of the study is reflected in the results of a comparative analysis of outsourcing and crowdsourcing. The author identifies related signs and differences, for each distinguishing feature a characteristic is given that reflects the specifics of using each of the ways to optimize the enterprise. The existing definitions of crowdsourcing were analyzed and their own author's definition was given. This study presents the mechanism of a crowdsourcing project, and its participants are identified. As a result of the study, the advantages of using crowdsourcing were revealed both for large companies and small and medium enterprises, as well as for participants in crowdsourcing projects themselves. This study expands knowledge about the nature, value and benefits of crowdsourcing in enterprises in order to increase competitiveness and optimize their functioning.

Keywords: Outsourcingcrowdsourcingcrowdsourcing projectcrowdsourcing resourcescrowdsourcing mechanismparticipants of crowdsourcing projects


For the most productive functioning in today's market conditions, companies need to meet the changing needs of consumers, change their image, develop and provide an increasingly improved product. The authors Helfat and Martin ( 2015) in their research say that there are several aspects that affect the strategic changes and productivity of the firm, such aspects include – management knowledge, social capital and human capital. Roberts and Dowling ( 2002) in their research talk about the relationship between corporate reputation and sustainable financial results. Shaver ( 2005) in his research says that there are alternative strategies for the development of enterprises. Their use leads to an improvement in the assessment of companies ' activities, with the introduction of non-standard approaches to solving problems.

In search of non-standard, creative solutions, managers of many companies are increasingly using crowdsourcing. Currently, crowdsourcing is on the way of formation and active development of its content. The advantages of using a new way of doing business give impetus to the development of not only specific businesses, but the regions and the state. Stephan, Patterson, Kelly, and Mair, ( 2016) notes in his research that market organizations can stimulate positive social change, it is important to reconsider the attitude of organizations to society.

Crowdsourcing penetrates into all spheres of human life: cinema, education, science, production, high technology and much more. According to Russian author Krylyvets ( 2013) believe that the prerequisites for the emergence of such tools as crowdsourcing has become the development of Internet technology, which provided access to the information huge number of users.

Problem Statement

In this scientific study, the authors set the task of finding and identifying new ways to optimize resources and improve efficiency by involving third parties and organizations in solving problems and tasks of enterprises, identifying adaptability of options in the search for solutions and the possibility of improving the quality based on the choice of effective solutions.

In modern conditions of the market new ways, organizational structures, economic mechanisms for the purpose of increase of level of competitiveness of the companies, increase of economic efficiency are necessary. The use of a new crowdsourcing approach in the management of enterprises will increase the competitiveness of companies and will improve the process of providing many types of services with timely satisfaction of demand, with an appropriate level of service quality and minimal costs. The development of partnership to solve some problems of enterprise operation makes a valuable adaptive approach in the development of incentive systems to attract independent persons, allows to form the coordination of the process participants in order to better serve consumers.

The search for new tools for the functioning of enterprises in the development of innovative economy determines the direction of optimization of enterprises, business processes to improve the efficiency of the use of available funds and achieve a high level of management decisions.

Research Questions

The reasons for the formulation of research questions can be called insufficient knowledge of the crowdsourcing process, as well as inconsistency in the works of some authors. Before the authors of this research are several research questions: 1) whether to consider crowdsourcing as a continuation of the outsourcing process in the activities of many enterprises, 2) what are the essential features to be studied in the study of the crowdsourcing process and 3) what are the important advantages allows you to acquire crowdsourcing in the activities of enterprises.

In the field of economic Sciences, the works of a number of scientists devoted to the study of the crowdsourcing process are known. Crowdsourcing studied in the works of such Russian scientists as: Krylyvets ( 2013), Paley ( 2012). The works of foreign researchers is represented by the works of such scientists as: Howe ( 2006), Surowiecki ( 2005). Foreign authors such Roberts and Dowling ( 2002), Shaver ( 2005), Lin, Yang, Arya, Huang, and Li ( 2005), Stephan, Patterson, Kelly, and Mair ( 2016), Vadera, Pratt, and Mishra ( 2013) studied the issues of organizational changes of enterprises, which formed the basis of this study.

Purpose of the Study

The purpose of this study is to identify the possibility of using the crowdsourcing process by modern companies to solve their internal problems of functioning, as well as to improve the quality of the enterprise as a whole. Many medium-sized Russian enterprises lack the capacity and resources to develop and use modern technologies and knowledge. It is impossible to be professionally up to date in the ever - changing world of components, design technologies, materials application-it is better to entrust this work to specialists. Of course, this determines the need to find an approach to solving the problems of the enterprise, management, which will differ from the known methods in product quality management.

Research Methods

Theoretical and experimental methods were used for this research. Theoretical concepts include analysis and synthesis of such concepts as outsourcing and crowdsourcing, generalization of features and analogy of these processes, as well as a systematic approach was used. Experimental methods include comparison and description of outsourcing and crowdsourcing processes.


Comparative analysis of outsourcing and crowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing is a logical continuation of the movement of management from insourcing through outsourcing to a new, more modern and more respectful to the consumer stage of development of management systems of firms ' behavior in the market.

The modern definition of outsourcing can be formulated as follows: optimization of activity and reduction of costs of the enterprise or organization on the basis of concentration on the main areas of activity and transfer of secondary or non-core operations to executors of other organizations. After analyzing the existing interpretations of the concept of "outsourcing", the author concluded that outsourcing is an element of the management strategy the company is concentrating on core activities and transfer of secondary (non-core), but functionally necessary business processes and business functions to external management and maintenance of specialized companies with the aim of streamlining activities, reducing costs and increasing competitiveness.

In modern conditions, outsourcing is known everywhere and is used in Russian business practice most often in the field of accounting, information technology and systems, cleaning, translation, transport, advertising services. Outsourcing is the fastest growing method of resource optimization in the construction and operation of logistics systems in various fields. Outsourcing is a business model that provides additional competitive advantages. Outsourcing companies have extensive experience in solving similar problems, and the customer has the opportunity to use highly qualified personnel. The quality of functions transferred to outsourcing is much improved. The outsourcing nature of the relationship often involves customer employees.

Howe first used the term "crowdsourcing" in a 2006 article in Wired magazine, describing the phenomenon and defining the term. In this article, Jeff Howe defined crowdsourcing as a way of employment for people willing to work, companies working in various spheres of professional activities with the aim of using the intelligence and creativity of the people.

In 2004 the journalist Surowiecki published the book "the Wisdom of crowds", stating that when properly specified conditions, the search for a solution to any problem is based on the cumulative knowledge of many people can be more effective than the use of the knowledge and experience of several of them ( Surowiecki, 2005). The term crowdsourcing is made up of two English words: crowd, which means crowd, and sourcing - the use of resources. That is, it is the process of transferring any functions or operations to a certain circle of people outside the company, solving tasks by volunteers using information technology. The word crowd can mean any number of participants unknown or anonymous, used in these works. Crowdsourcing as one of the directions of outsourcing development has similar characteristics with it. Despite the similarity of the two definitions in the main content of the transfer of secondary functions outside the company, these two areas have significant differences from each other (table 01 ).

Table 1 -
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Concept of crowdsourcing

Modern society has formed several definitions of crowdsourcing:

  • involvement of many people in joint activities, transfer of certain production functions to an indefinite number of persons on the basis of a public offer that does not imply the conclusion of an employment contract;

  • the direction created based on the expected desire of consumers for free or for a small price to share their ideas with the company, solely out of interest to see these ideas embodied in the production;

  • a way to get new interesting ideas, solutions to tasks by attracting not professional employees of the company, but third-party people, most often online communities in order to assist in the work of the company on any issue, project;

  • model of finding solutions to current problems with the help of an indefinite circle of people.

The author proposes to consider crowdsourcing as a way to optimize the functioning of enterprises by using and implementing the ideas of third-party participants on a voluntary basis to address topical issues of development of the organization or direction of business, as well as improving the efficiency of the logistics system as a whole.

Participants of the crowdsourcing project form a community consisting of an unlimited number of people who, regardless of age, status or professional activity, offer solutions to the problem. Then a certain group of responsible persons selects the most valuable offer. The authors believe that in answering the question of can be used such a concept as a constructive deviation, proposed by the authors Va Vadera, Pratt, and Mishra, (2013). In their paper, they note that constructive deviation is a generic term that includes several different types of behavior, including accepting responsibility, being creative, expressing voice, exposing, behaving outside of a role, prosocial behavior, breaking prosocial rules, behaving against roles, and selling problem-solving. Prosocial behavior, or "voluntary behavior designed to benefit another person," is social behavior that "benefits other people or society as a whole."

Features of crowdsourcing implementation in Russia

Crowdsourcing is a relatively new tool for the development of enterprises, especially for the Russian market, but it has already established itself as an effective means of achieving goals. Using this new tool became possible thanks to the emergence of crowdsourcing resources - Internet platforms formed to collect and analyze a large number of ideas and proposals. Such sites already exist in the West, and now appear in Russia.

Sberbank is among the first companies in Russia to introduce crowdsourcing principles into business processes. Currently, a crowdsourcing platform has been launched, which is constantly working and offers all interested employees of the Bank, as well as customers, participation in crowd projects, in order to use the creative potential of the knowledge of a large audience in the future. Employees monitor incoming information flows and generate useful ideas. The most interesting develop, modify and implement.

In public administration, the use of crowdsourcing mechanism is also beginning everywhere. An example of such use can be called the project of the Belgorod region "National expertise", described by the author of the article Rogova (2013). The authorities take into account the opinions, demands, suggestions of the population, and therefore the decisions become more effective in management terms.

The experience of Western companies shows that the audience willingly agrees to participate in crowdsourcing projects. Indeed, most of us often come up with brilliant ideas, but often they are not implemented. For a creative person who is able to think creatively and give non-standard solutions, crowdsourcing platform is an ideal place to discuss ideas and cooperate with interested people. The clients themselves, participating in crowdsourcing projects, develop or modify the product "for themselves" - the product becomes more focused on end users. Crowdsourcing allows you to adjust business development to the maximum, using minimal financial investments in development.

The idea of crowdsourcing is to use collective intelligence, because the joint work of a large number of people United by one common idea is much more productive than even one brilliant person. Crowdsourcing enables companies to use the knowledge and skills of people who want to participate in the project regardless of their location and at the same time save money. Ordering the same solutions from professionals can cost an order of magnitude more, and the result can be worse than with such a brainstorming.

Benefits of crowdsourcing

According to Paley T.F. crowdsourcing as a new method, the use of which became possible in the conditions of intensive development of information and communication technologies, is of natural interest, but it has both advantages and disadvantages ( Paley, 2012).

Crowdsourcing as a way to optimize the functioning of companies brings undeniable advantages:

  • Inexpensive tool for development or optimization of functioning;

  • Easy to implement (via website or social networks);

  • Ability to create a global product.

  • Access to the results of work of an unlimited audience;

  • There is recognition of the company, brand, product;

  • Use of talent;

  • Using non-standard sources of innovative ideas;

  • Involvement of authoritative experts;

  • Use of ideas and information of unlimited number of persons;

  • Transferring a staff assignment to a large number of individuals.

Modern companies can get financial and other benefits from the use of crowdsourcing.

In modern communication technologies, the Internet, social networks, the introduction of crowdsourcing principles becomes possible for small businesses. It became possible to collect the necessary information using the feedback system with clients of companies with which relations have already been established. Used and held all sorts of promotions that allow relatively quickly and inexpensively to obtain important information. At the same time, the owner of a small business will be able to solve several tasks: 1.To reduce the costs associated with the search for solutions to certain problems of the organization, 2. The list of options that can be used to solve the problem is much wider, 3.Customers will be most interested in the company, products or services.

Shares associated with the use of cardsorting can be carried out in conjunction with advertising campaigns that will lead to increased interest from potential and existing customers, as well as planned promotions, including the areas of crowdsourcing, which will increase the effect from the advertising campaign.

Participants of crowdsourcing projects can get the following benefits:

  • develop and present creative ideas;

  • realize your opportunities and use the accumulated knowledge;

  • receive prizes or cash rewards;

  • experts can improve their status in the professional community.

According to Golubev E.V. there are two types of motivation for participation in crowdsourcing projects: material and intangible. In his article Golubev ( 2014) reflects that the mechanism of motivation in crowdsourcing is part of the key elements on which the effectiveness and usability of projects may depend. The authors Lin, Yang, Arya, Huang, and Li ( 2005) in their studies prove that sometimes group motivation has a stronger effect on the final positive result of the project than individual.

The paper identifies the main advantages of using crowdsourcing for large corporations and small business owners, presents financial and qualitative benefits. Similarities and key differences of two modern management tools are analyzed and revealed. Every distinctive feature was obtained by a comparative description. Outsourcing is a well-known way to reduce costs and focus on the main functions of the enterprise, while crowdsourcing is on the way of its formation and active implementation in the processes of Russian companies. The novelty of this method of optimizing the functioning of enterprises is reflected in this study. The place of crowdsourcing as the next development behind outsourcing is established. Participants of crowdsourcing projects and essence of crowdsourcing resources are defined. The introduction of crowdsourcing principles will allow to actively use the feedback system with customers, involving them in the process of creating the final product and receiving additional benefits of enterprises.


The use of crowdsourcing and the introduction of crowdsourcing projects into the activities of companies in order to improve the efficiency of logistics systems is a global trend. The desire to successfully conduct business and improve competitiveness makes the company's management to seek and apply new forms of business management and new ways of innovation. Crowdsourcing as a direction of development of innovative activity can become a way of implementation of economic and other civil initiatives. Creative ideas of people can be used in the development of enterprises in order to improve the optimal functioning of the enterprise, the creation of new goods, products and improve the efficiency of logistics systems as a whole.


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09 March 2020

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Rakhmatullina*, A. R., & Sivaks, А. N. (2020). Crowdsourcing As A Way Of Modern Economic Development Of Enterprises. In S. I. Ashmarina, & V. V. Mantulenko (Eds.), Global Challenges and Prospects of the Modern Economic Development, vol 79. European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences (pp. 1048-1055). European Publisher.