Convergence on Self-Generated vs. Crowdsourced Ideas in Crisis Response: Comparing Social Exchange Processes and Satisfaction with Process

I. Seeber, A. Merz, G. de Vreede, R. Maier and B. Weber

In: Proc. HICSS'17, pp. 687–696, 2017.

Abstract. Social media allow crowds to generate many ideas to swiftly respond to events like crises, public policy discourse, or online town hall meetings. This allows organizations and governments to harness the innovative power of the crowd. As part of this setting, teams that process crowd ideas must engage in social exchange processes to converge on a few promising ideas. Traditionally, teams work on self-generated ideas. However, in a crowdsourcing scenario, such as public participation in crisis response, teams may have to process crowd-generated ideas. To better understand this new practice, it is important to investigate how converging on crowdsourced ideas affects the social exchange processes of teams and resulting outcomes. We conducted a laboratory experiment in which small teams working in a crisis response setting converged on self-generated or crowdsourced ideas in an emergency response context. Our findings suggest that teams converging on self-generated ideas have better social exchange processes in terms of dominance and coordination. We found support that evaluation and coordination positively affect team member satisfaction under both experimental conditions. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

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Barbara Weber