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A sociologist looks at crowds: innovation or invention?

Powell, Walter W. (2017) A sociologist looks at crowds: innovation or invention? Strategic Organization, 15 (2). pp. 289-297. ISSN 1476-1270

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Identification Number: 10.1177/1476127016644642


Crowd-based organizational models are purported to be more open and participatory than traditional organizational forms. But are they novel inventions or permutations of forms that have existed previously? This essay examines the wide array of innovations pursued under the umbrella label of crowd phenomena and asks whether they have altered traditional ways of organizing. The ramifications of crowds for both workers and consumers are also discussed. Central features of crowd organizing include spot transactions, short-term relations, demand-based pricing, heterogeneous demand, and reputations established through feedback mechanisms. Security and formality appear to have been replaced by openness and precariousness. The essay concludes with a call for further study of the contents of crowd-generated products and services.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 The Author
Divisions: Sociology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2019 11:54
Last Modified: 23 May 2024 04:48

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