Tackling Platform Competition in the Crowdsourcing: How Referral Programs Influence Activeness and Profitability

Yanping Guo, Bingqing Xiong, Yongqiang Sun, Chee-Wee Tan

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


Crowdsourcing platforms are experiencing exponential growth in recent years. Despite their extraordinary capabilities in expediting resource allocation and engendering innovation, crowdsourcing platforms also suffer from declining demand due to a growing number of competitors flooding the market. Consequently, a number of crowdsourcing platforms have launched referral programs to incentivize existing customers to recruit new members. Although past studies have attested to the effects of referral programs on individual outcomes, there is a dearth of research that has examined the macro impact of such programs. To bridge this knowledge gap, we construct a four-year panel (i.e., two years before and after policy change) and employ interrupted time-series analysis to unravel the effects of referral programs on crowdsourcing platforms’ activeness and profitability. Additionally, we also take a closer look at whether these programs will influence the magnitude and variability of platform-level outcomes. Implications of our work are discussed towards the end.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 42nd International Conference on Information Systems (ICIS)
EditorsAnitesh Barua, Ryan Wright, Atreyi Kankanhalli, Xitong Li, Shaila Miranda
Number of pages9
Place of PublicationAtlanta, GA
PublisherAssociation for Information Systems. AIS Electronic Library (AISeL)
Publication date2021
Article number2118
ISBN (Electronic)9781733632591
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventThe 42nd International Conference on Information Systems: ICIS 2021: Building Sustainability and Resilience With is: A Call for Action - Austin, United States
Duration: 12 Dec 202115 Dec 2021
Conference number: 42


ConferenceThe 42nd International Conference on Information Systems: ICIS 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address
SeriesProceedings of the International Conference on Information Systems

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