Den skummende organisation: Læring og innovation via crowdsourcing

Martin Jensen

Student thesis: Master thesis


The aim of this theoretical thesis is to develop a conceptualization of crowdsourcing that is capable of contributing, concerning clarification, to the emerging field of open innovation. This is accomplished through the following steps: first by viewing the crowd as a multiplicity, i.e. a social formation that should be analyzed in terms of its qualitative characteristics and not as a matter of a grouping of individuals; secondly by applying the German philosopher Peter Sloterdijks foam theory to comprehend and qualify this social formation; thirdly by explaining the dynamics in the crowd as imitation in correspondence with the French sociologist Gabriel Tarde; and finally by bringing the insights regarding the crowd into play with The Information Space framework of Max Boisot. The contribution consists of a more prominent and clearly defined role for the practice of crowdsourcing, which directs the attention to the usefulness of distant sources and epistemic heterogeneity. If the firms are to succeed in tapping into the production and knowledge of the crowd a new approach to diversity seems to be needed. This approach could be called alterity politics, which implies a radical openness towards other actors, than those normally involved – users, suppliers or competitors – in the innovation process.

EducationsMSc in Philosophy, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2011
Number of pages91