Crowdsourcing in a time of empowered stakeholders: Lessons from crowdsourcing campaigns

Matthew Wilson, Karen Robson, Elsamari Botha

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Crowdsourcing can test a company's willingness to relinquish control to key stakeholders. Using past examples of four failed crowdsourcing initiatives, we explore the negative and unintended consequences of crowdsourcing in an age when stakeholders are empowered to speak their minds, make a mockery of organizational initiatives, and direct initiatives as it suits their own agenda. The concepts of crowdthink and crowd hijacking are introduced, and advice is given on how managers can avoid or anticipate some of the potential issues that arise during crowdsourcing endeavors. With these considerations, managers can harness the power of crowds effectively to achieve organizational goals with limited negative consequences.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)247-253
Number of pages7
JournalBusiness Horizons
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 1 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Consumer backlash
  • Creative consumer
  • Crowd hijacking
  • Crowdfunding
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Crowdthink


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