Exploring Internal Crowdsourcing: An investigation of internal innovation practices within large European companies

Sofie Mathilde Derdau Roorda & Rebecca Waldmann

Student thesis: Master thesis


In today’s competitive business world the importance of innovation is more evident than ever. Innovation is seen as a crucial factor for companies to be able to compete in a fast paced volatile business environment and respond to fluctuating markets. With steadily increasing competition and fading global barriers companies need to tap into new sources for innovative ideas. In response to the new challenges, the paradigm of open innovation has emerged. It manifests in the search for ideas outside traditional research and development facilities for potential new innovations. Within open innovation, crowdsourcing has been surfacing as a key characteristic and companies are increasingly recognizing its advantages for the generation of new ideas. While crowdsourcing inherits many possible opportunities for new innovations, its processes need to be managed and nurtured appropriately in order to extract the true value. This research takes focus on Internal Crowdsourcing, a specific type of crowdsourcing and recent concept, which considers all employees of a company as potential idea generators. The aim of this investigation is to gain a broad overview of the current use of Internal Crowdsourcing and the main factors that contribute to its successful implementation. The company culture, internal structures and a supporting type of leadership have been identified as common denominators contributing to the creation of an innovation friendly environment. 100 large European companies were investigated, regarding their current internal innovation practices through the use of an extensive online survey. Based on this snapshot in time, innovation experts contributed with their professional experience and advice. In combination with existing literature, the current situation and the expert advice, this research tries to reveal the main factors that need to be in place in order to successfully lead and structure Internal Crowdsourcing as a sustainable source for new ideas

EducationsMSocSc in Service Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2015
Number of pages125