Faculty of Management Research Workshop; Emmanouil Gkeredakis, IESE Business School
Emmanouil Gkeredakis, IESE Business School
New forms of crowd-based organizations (CBOs) are puzzling for organizational scholars. On one hand, they afford unbounded participation – any individual can potentially join – creating the ideal conditions for extreme diversity. On the other hand, no organization can sustain itself unless the contributions of multiple actors are steered toward a certain direction and diversity is sufficiently tamed. Extant literature insights suggest that CBOs may influence and guide crowd behavior through architectural and governance mechanisms, such as rules of participation and structure of incentives. In this paper, we develop the argument that symbolic resources and processes play a crucial role in steering the crowd. Empirically, we study how two CBOs, Quirky and Kickstarter, mobilized symbolic resources – what we call devices of worth – to achieve such steering over time. By encouraging and guiding crowds to contribute to a greater good through their platforms, CBO founders managed to scale their novel organizations. Yet, despite the early success, the actions of an increasingly diverse crowd instantiated divergent, incompatible notions of worth, which culminated in hotly debated controversies. By unpacking these controversies and the differential efforts of Quirky and Kickstarter to deal with them, this paper offers new insights into the intricacies of managing crowd-based organizational forms
Cass Business School, 106 Bunhill Row
106 Bunhill Row, London EC1Y 8TZ, UK
Emmanouil 'Manos' Gkeredakis will join IESE Business School in September 2019. He was previously based at Warwick Business School and NYU Stern School of Business. Manos studies how organizations might exploit new opportunities for digital innovation with a focus on crowdsourcing. He is particularly interested in the management and ethical challenges that crowd-based organizations face. In his research, Manos employs a variety of qualitative methods and uses multiple sources of online and offline field observations, interviews and archival data. His research has been published in top management journals, such as Information Systems Research, Organization Studies, Information and Organization.