Crowdsourcing for innovation: from knowledge capture to knowledge integration, the key role of absorptive capacities


  • Emilie Ruiz
  • Brion Sébastien
  • Parmentier Guy


  • Crowdsourcing
  • Open innovation
  • Knowledge
  • Absorptive capacities

document type



Crowdsourcing (CS) for innovation is defined as the outsourcing of problem solving or creative tasks to the crowd. The literature points out the benefits for developing absorptive capacities (ACAP). In this specific open CS context, little is known about the integrative actions for this external knowledge. This explorative research tries to fill this gap by considering five cases of CS for innovation. When implementing CS for innovation, we show that firms succeed in developing potential absorptive capacities (acquisition and assimilation of the crowd’s knowledge), yet experience significant difficulties in developing realized absorptive capacities (transformation and exploitation of the crowd’s knowledge). Integrative actions implemented during the realized absorptive capacities (RACAP) step are not sufficiently strong to create new value with captured knowledge, and other factors like organizational integration should be considered.

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