Exploring open innovation
: an analysis of the influence of esternal search strategy on innovation performance and its effect on employee loyalty in the German automotive industry

  • Robert Högler (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


Crowdsourcing is a relatively new concept and therefore recent literature primarily focusses on the definition of the term and the analysis of the concept per se. However business models that make use of crowdsourcing emerged rapidly during the last years and sometimes were able to completely reshape whole industries with their innovative concept. Thus it is important to consider what exactly the key success factors for those business models are and what differentiates the successful from the unsuccessful concepts. This thesis first defines the term crowdsourcing and subsequently tries to use recent academic literature to explain how crowdsourcing can be strategically integrated in a business model. In this process common problems that are mentioned regarding business models that make use of crowdsourcing are elaborated. In the end of the literature review six questions regarding possible key success factors emerge. To approve or disapprove those six success factors and potentially find further success factors a case study analysis is conducted. Within this case study analysis two successful and two failed examples of business models that make use of crowdsourcing are analyzed. The Osterwalder Business Canvas is used to analyze the individual business models of Threadless, iStockphoto, CrowdSpirit and Cambrian House. In the end of the case example analysis three hypothesis regarding the key success factors of business models that make use of crowdsourcing are formulated. The findings of this thesis propose that a multi-sided platform approach is more likely to succeed than other types of business models that make use of crowdsourcing (H1). Additionally the relevance of the feelings of the crowd during the crowdsourcing process is emphasized, as they should experience feelings of fun and enjoyment (H2). Also the reward system for the crowd is discussed and it is suggested that a business models that makes use of pyramid-shaped reward system that takes into account the individual contribution of each individual crowd member is more likely to be successful (H3).
Date of Award2015
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorCláudia Costa (Supervisor)


  • Mestrado em Gestão

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