Successfully adapting existing business models or developing new ones significantly influences a firm’s ability to generate profits and develop competitive advantages. However, business model innovation is perceived as a complex, risky and uncertain process and its success strongly depends on whether or not the firm is capable of understanding and addressing their customers’ needs. We conduct a quantitative exploratory case study to investigate how crowdsourcing-based search approaches among user communities can contribute to developing business model innovation. Drawing on data from a crowdsourcing initiative designed to develop ideas for new business models in the podcast industry, we provide first exploratory insights into the value of crowdsourcing for innovating a firm’s way of creating, delivering and capturing value, and discuss characteristics of crowd-contributors that influence the quantity and quality of the outcomes. Our findings indicate that crowd contributions go beyond suggesting new value propositions, they also comprise novel and useful ideas for innovating a firm’s approach to value delivery and value capture. These findings, which are quite counterintuitive from the perspective of classic strategy making literature, suggest that, at least under certain conditions, crowdsourcing might constitute a promising method to alleviate the process of successful business model innovation.
Academy of Management Proceedings, 2016, Vol 2016, Issue (Meeting Abstract Supplement)