Using Amazon Mechanical Turk and other compensated crowdsourcing sites

Crowdsourcing is becoming recognized as a powerful tool that organizations can use in order to get work done, this by freelancers and non-employees. We conceptualize crowdsourcing as a subcategory of outsourcing, with compensated crowdsourcing representing situations in which individuals performing the work receive some sort of payment for accomplishing the organization's tasks. Herein, we discuss how sites that create a crowd, such as Amazon Mechanical Turk, can be powerful tools for business purposes. We highlight the general features of crowdsourcing sites, offering examples drawn from current crowdsourcing sites. We then examine the wide range of tasks that can be accomplished through crowdsourcing sites. Large online worker community websites and forums have been created around such crowdsourcing sites, and we describe the functions they generally play for crowdsourced workers. We also describe how these functions offer opportunities and challengesfor organizations. We close by discussing major considerations organizations need to take into account when trying to harness the power of the crowd through compensated crowdsourcing sites.

Schmidt, G. and Jettinghoff, W. (2016), 'Using Amazon Mechanical Turk and other compensated crowdsourcing sites', Business Horizons, 59(4), pp. 391-400.


  • Amazon Mechanical Turk
  • professional services
  • Online moderately skilled click work
  • United States
  • 2016
  • Research publication
  • work organisation
  • English
  • Business Horizons (Publisher)
  • Qualitative research
  • Subscription
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