Crowdsourcing for Innovative Knowledge: effects of Knowledge Synthesis and Centralised Communication Position

Yao Sun, Ann Majchrzak, Arvind Malhotra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


As innovation is increasingly generated via crowdsourcing, factors that enable or impede collective innovation deserve a closer examination. This study advances the literature by examining the roles of knowledge synthesis and communication positions in open innovation challenges. Analysing 3,200 posts generated from 21 organisation-sponsored online crowd-based open innovation challenges. This study showed that when knowledge contributors occupy centralised positions in online knowledge collaboration, they are less likely to generate innovative knowledge, and the benefit obtained from synthesised knowledge tends to be hampered by the contributor’s centralised position in the interaction. This study adds a new dimension to explaining crowdsourcing for innovation by incorporating a perspective of communication position into crowdsourcing and open innovation research. It also sheds light on the practice of crowdsourcing by highlighting the design of platforms that can promote the synthesis of crowd members’ shared knowledge while encouraging diverse voices from non-centralised members of the crowd.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)691-702
Number of pages12
JournalKnowledge Management Research and Practice
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2023
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Management Information Systems
  • Business and International Management
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Library and Information Sciences
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


  • Crowdsourcing
  • communication position
  • knowledge sharing
  • knowledge synthesis
  • open innovation


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