Social media roles in crowdsourcing innovation tasks in B2B-relationships


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Social media roles in crowdsourcing innovation tasks in B2B-relationships presentation at ISPIM 2013 conference in Helsinki. Co-authors Hannu Kärkkäinen and Jani Multasuo.

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Social media roles in crowdsourcing innovation tasks in B2B-relationships

  1. 1. Social media roles incrowdsourcing innovationtasks in B2B-relationshipsISPIM, Helsinki 18.6.2013Jari Jussila, Hannu Kärkkäinen,Jani Multasuo
  2. 2. Introduction• Recent studies (Kärkkäinen et al., 2012; Simula and Vuori, 2012)demonstrate that B2B- crowdsourcing is actually possible, despitemany restrictions and related doubts.• Conducting crowdsourcing is however clearly more challenging in theB2B context (ibid)• Recent studies (Marjanovic et al., 2012; Stanoevska-Slabeva, 2011)reveal that social media seems commonly to have an important role incrowdsourcing• Even if crowdsourcing can be and has been carried without the aid ofcomputers, it seems to benefit from social media in a variety of ways,for example by enabling crowdsourcers to reach larger crowds, morecompetent crowds, or crowds with more extensive knowledge variety.• The main objective of this study was to understand thesignificance and the various roles and functions of social mediain crowdsourcing innovation –related tasks in B2B relationships18.6.2013 2
  3. 3. Crowdsourcing in B2BinnovationWe define crowdsourcing (Kärkkäinen et al., 2012) as companies operating inBusiness-to-Business markets propose themselves or aim to benefit in someother way from voluntary provision of A from B in C purpose, benefiting fromthis in D sensein which:A = concepts, ideas, information, knowledge, funding or other resourcesB = a group of individuals of varying knowledge, heterogeneityand number, consisting from individuals from any companies, organizations,non-profits, intermediaries, communities or individual professionalsC = new product development (NPD) or the whole innovation process, fromideas and concepts to commercializationD = cost reduction, quality increase, increased customer orientation andcustomer understanding, time-to-market time reduction, sales / profit increase,etc. NPD or innovation related benefits”18.6.2013 3
  4. 4. 18.6.2013 4Table 1 Examples of social media tools based on 5Cs categorization.Tools Purpose Application examplesCommunicating: publishing and sharing contentBlogs, media sharing systems,discussion forums, microblogging,instant messagingPublish, discuss, expressoneself, show opinion, share,influence, storeBlogger, WordPress,Flickr, YouTube,Twitter, SlideShare,PreziCollaborating: collective content creationWikis, shared workspaces Create content together,collaboration, produsageWikipedia, TWiki,GoogleDocs, MatchWareConnecting: networking peopleSocial networks, communities,virtual worldsSocialise, network, connect,play, entertainFacebook, LinkedIn,SecondLife, World ofWarcraft, Habbo HotelCompleting: adding, describing and filteringTagging, social bookmarking,syndications, add-onsAdding metadata, describingcontent, subscribing updates,combining, serendipityGoogleReader,Del.ici.ous, PinterestCombining: mixing and matchingMash-ups, platforms Combining other tools andtechnologies according tosituation and needsGoogleMapsSource: Condensed from Vuori (2011).
  5. 5. Research approach• We applied netnographic research principles, designed for studyingonline communities, on the observation of textual discourse inselected social media- based crowdsourcing platforms, and themedia (platforms) themselves (Kozinets, 2002)• Based on the literature review, we identified 104 differentcrowdsourcing platforms and then performed participant observationto sample the platforms and to especially identify crowdsourcingplatforms that have been utilized in business-to-business context aswell as concrete company cases targeted for crowdsourcinginnovation tasks.• The participant observation included registrations to several onlineplatforms, browsing through the available textual discourses, andidentifying, observing and analysing the social media actions theusers have performed in the platforms. The approach included alsofollowing various links to secondary sources in order to gaincomprehensive knowledge about the crowdsourcing platforms.18.6.2013 5
  6. 6. 18.6.2013 6Table 2 B2B companies using a crowdsourcing platform to crowdsource innovation tasks relatedto specific B2B product in their respective industries.Company and platform B2B product IndustryBaden-Chemie Atizo Chemical product for building andredevelopmentConstruction chemistryBombardier YouRail Rail vehicles (interior design fortrains)Rail-equipmentmanufacturingDell IdeaStorm Storm Session Developer laptop Computer hardwareFormlabs Kickstarter Professional 3D printer Manufacturing (3Dprinting technology)Intuit TurboTax LiveCommunityTurboTax Business tax software Professional servicesKonecranes GrabCADChallengeChain hoist (chain wear indicator) ManufacturingNI Idea Exchange /Community ChallengesLabVIEW software product SoftwareNumerex uTest M2M (machine-to-machine) solutionfor tracking vehicles and assetsM2M hardware andsoftwareTecnisa Ideas Building sites and buildings Construction
  7. 7. Results and analysis• We discovered that the crowdsourcing platforms wereused to crowdsource simple, creative and complexinnovation tasks.– Simple innovation tasks, that required a relatively lowinvolvement from the individuals, were observed to havebeen crowdsourced from Kickstarter platform and uTestplatform.– Creative innovation tasks were observed to have beencrowdsourced in Bombardier’s YouRail platform, where thecompany crowdsourced new interior designs for trains.– Most of the crowdsourced innovation tasks were howevercomplex in nature, such as complex problem solvingactivities (e.g. solving problems of the customers on Intuit’splatform) or generating new ideas, concepts or designs(e.g. Konecranes’ GrabCAD challenge).18.6.2013 7
  8. 8. 18.6.2013 8Table 3 Description of crowdsourced innovation tasks in select B2B company cases andcrowdsourcing platforms.Company and platform Crowdsourced innovation task Task complexityBaden-Chemie Atizo New ideas for chemical products (Atizo,2012)ComplexBombardier YouRail New interior designs of trains (Bombardier,2012)CreativeDell IdeaStorm StormSessionRequirements and features for developerlaptop (Dell, 2012)ComplexFormlabs Kickstarter Funding of development of 3D printer(Kickstarter, 2012)SimpleIntuit TurboTax LiveCommunitySolutions for customer problems regardingcorporate taxes (Intuit, 2012)ComplexKonecranesGrabCAD ChallengeNew ideas and designs for chain wearindicator of chain hoists (Step files)(GrabCAD, 2012)ComplexNI Community / IdeaExchangeNew ideas and features for LabVIEWsoftware product (National Instruments,2012)ComplexNumerex uTest Testing hardware of vehicle tracking device(uTest, 2012)SimpleTecnisa Ideas New ideas and concepts related withTecnisa’s construction projects, buildingsites, and individual apartments (Tecnisa,2012)Complex
  9. 9. 18.6.2013 9Table 4 Social media roles in the studied company cases and crowdsourcing platforms from theuser perspective (1C = Communicating, 2C = Collaboration, 3C = Connecting, 4C = Completing,5C = Combining).Case and platform 1C 2C 3C 4C 5CBaden-Chemie Atizo X - X X -Bombardier YouRail X - X X -Dell IdeaStorm StormSessionX - X X -Formlabs Kickstarter X - X X -Intuit TurboTax LiveCommunityX - X X -Konecranes GrabCADChallengeX - X X XNI Idea Exchange /Community ChallengesX - X X XNumerex uTest X - X - -Tecnisa Ideas X - X X X
  10. 10. Conclusions• We found that the role of social media was quite essential inevery crowdsourcing type. Most of the crowdsourcingplatforms utilized well-known social media platforms, such asFacebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube to enhance thecrowdsourcing initiatives.• Social media served many different functions in B2Bcrowdsourcing: making the crowdsourcing calls moreextensively visible, enabling the general networking of themembers of the crowds, and facilitating efficient sharing ofinformation and knowledge.• Companies that operate in B2B markets and produce B2Bproducts and services can utilize the recognized and analyzedsocial media- based crowdsourcing approaches as usefulmodels for facilitating their own open innovation activitiesand experiments.18.6.2013 10