University of Arkansas

Walton College

The Sam M. Walton College of Business

Allen Publishes Crowdsourcing Research in Journal of Marketing

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October 05, 2017

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Allen joined the Walton College in 2017 after receiving his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at San Antonio. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Brigham Young University. His primary areas of research are new product strategy and innovation.

“This manuscript looks at the value of crowdsourcing during downstream new product development phases,” Allen said. “The novelty in our study is that we examine whether crowdsourcing can help in the implementation phases of product development. We discuss how firms can use crowdsourcing to transform ideas into manufacturable designs.”

Allen’s co-authors on the paper were Deepa Chandrasekaran, assistant professor at the University of Texas at San Antonio, and Suman Basuroy, professor, department chair and holder of the Graham Weston Endowed Professorship at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

From the paper’s abstract:

“We examine an increasingly popular open innovation practice called ‘design crowdsourcing,’ wherein firms seek external inputs in the form of functional design solutions for new product development from the ‘crowd.’ We investigate conditions under which managers crowdsource design and whether such decisions subsequently boost product sales. Our empirical analysis is guided by qualitative insights gathered from executive interviews. We use a novel dataset from a pioneering crowdsourcing firm and find that three concept design characteristics—perceived usability, reliability, and technical complexity—are associated with the decision to crowdsource design. We use an instrumental variable method accounting for the endogenous nature of crowdsourcing decisions to understand when such a decision affects downstream sales. We find that design crowdsourcing is positively related to unit sales and that this effect is moderated by the idea quality of the initial product concept. Using a change-score analysis of consumer ratings, we find that design crowdsourcing enhances perceived reliability and usability. We discuss the strategic implications of involving the crowd, beyond ideation, in helping transform ideas into effective products.”


Walton College

Walton College of Business

Since its founding at the University of Arkansas in 1926, the Sam M. Walton College of Business has grown to become the state's premier college of business – as well as a nationally competitive business school. Learn more...

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