Design crowdsourcing: The impact on new product performance of sourcing design solutions from the "crowd”

We examine an increasingly popular open innovation practice called 'design crowdsourcing', wherein firms seek external inputs in the form of functional design solutions for new product development from the 'crowd'. We investigate conditions under which managers crowdsource design and whether such decisions subsequently boost product sales. Our empirical analysis is guided by qualitative insights gathered from executive interviews. We use a novel dataset from a pioneering crowdsourcing firm and find that three concept design characteristics—perceived usability, reliability, and technical complexity—are associated with the decision to crowdsource design. We use an instrumental variable method accounting for the endogenous nature of crowdsourcing decisions to understand when such a decision affects downstream sales. We find that design crowdsourcing is positively related to unit sales and that this effect is moderated by the idea quality of the initial product concept. Using a change-score analysis of consumer ratings, we find that design crowdsourcing enhances perceived reliability and usability. We discuss the strategic implications of involving the crowd, beyond ideation, in helping transform ideas into effective products.

Allen, B., Chandrasekaran, D. and Basuroy, S. (2018), 'Design crowdsourcing: The impact of new product performance of sourcing design solutions from the 'crowd', Journal of marketing 82(2), pp. 106-123.


  • Research publication, Case study-platform
  • United States, China, Italy, Israel, United Kingdom
  • Yes
  • professional services
  • Online contestant specialist work
  • Quirky
  • client characteristics
  • English
  • Journal of marketing (Publisher)
  • Quantitative research
  • 2018
  • Subscription
Disclaimer  —  Eurofound aims to keep the information in this database up to date and accurate. If errors are brought to our attention, we will try to correct them. However, Eurofound bears no responsibility or liability whatsoever with regard to the accuracy or content of this database or of external links over which Eurofound services have no control and for which Eurofound assumes no responsibility.