Increasing the Depth of Crowd Involvement: Decision Making and Co-creation Challenges in Science

Julia Süss-Reyes, Susanne Beck, Robin Brehm, Marion Poetz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference abstract in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


A growing number of research projects involve both professional scientists and members of the general public (“crowds”). Although the contributions of crowds are often limited to narrow tasks such as data collection or data processing, policy makers and science advocates call for more extensive involvement, including highly collaborative “co-creation”. However, co-creation can be defined in different ways, making it difficult to understand its potential benefits as well as challenges. To provide greater conceptual clarity, we propose a framework that distinguishes the breadth of crowd involvement across one versus multiple stages of a research project from the depth of crowd involvement at a given stage. We also argue that the key distinguishing feature of deep involvement and of co-creation is that crowd contributions go beyond effort and knowledge to include active participation in decision making. In the empirical part of the paper, we first apply this framework to characterize crowd involvement in ten co-created research projects across a range of fields. We then analyze qualitative data to explore challenges these projects faced, focusing on aspects that related specifically to crowd participation in decision making. Our findings contribute to ongoing debates around crowd involvement in science and suggest important avenues for future research on co-production in the context of science and innovation.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Eighty-third Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management
EditorsSonja Taneja
Number of pages1
Place of PublicationBriarcliff Manor, NY
PublisherAcademy of Management
Publication date2023
Publication statusPublished - 2023
EventThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2023: Putting the Worker Front and Center - Boston, United States
Duration: 4 Aug 20238 Aug 2023
Conference number: 83


ConferenceThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2023
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address
SeriesAcademy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings

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