Crowdsourcing in the Public Sector

Daren C. Brabham

+ Add to Cart Preorder


Request Print Exam Copy

Request Digital Exam Copy

Crowdsourcing is a term that was coined in 2006 to describe how the commercial sector was beginning to outsource problems or tasks to the public through an open call for solutions over the internet or social media. Crowdsourcing works to generate new ideas or develop innovative solutions to problems by drawing on the wisdom of the many rather than the few. US local government experimented with rudimentary crowdsourcing strategies as early as 1989, but in the last few years local, state, and federal government have increasingly turned to crowdsourcing to enhance citizen participation in problem solving, setting priorities, and decision making. While crowdsourcing in the public sector holds much promise and is part of a larger movement toward more citizen participation in democratic government, many challenges, especially legal and ethical issues, need to be addressed to successfully adapt it for use in the public sector.

Daren C. Brabham has been at the forefront of the academic study of crowdsourcing. This book includes extensive interviews with public and private sector managers who have used crowdsourcing. Brabham concludes with a list of the top ten best practices for public managers.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Crowdsourcing and Public Participation

1. Crowdsourcing’s Conceptual Foundations
2. Deciding If and When to Use Crowdsourcing
Knowledge Discovery and Management (KDM)
Distributed Human Intelligence Tasking (DHIT)
Broadcast Search
Peer-Vetted Creative Production (PVCP)
3. The Planning Phase
Best Practice 1: Clearly defi ne the problem and
solution parameters
Best Practice 2: Determine the level of commitment
to the outcomes received
Best Practice 3: Know the online community and
its motivations
4. The Implementation Phase
Best Practice 4: Invest in usable, interesting,
well-designed tools
Best Practice 5: Craft policies in line with the legal needs
of the organization and the online community
Best Practice 6: Launch promotional and growth plans
to sustain the community
Best Practice 7. Be honest, transparent, and responsive
Best Practice 8: Be involved but let go of control
5. The Post-Implementation Phase
Best Practice 9: Acknowledge users and follow through
on obligations
Best Practice 10: Assess the project from many angles

Conclusion: The Future of Crowdsourcing in the Public Sector5




Supplemental Materials


About the Author

Daren C. Brabham is an assistant professor of public relations and new media at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School of Communications. He is the author of Crowdsourcing and the editor of the online journal Case Studies in Strategic Communication.

120 pp., 6 x 9
3 figures, 1 table
Apr 2015

120 pp., 6 x 9
3 figures, 1 table
ISBN: 978-1-62616-379-9
Apr 2015

120 pp.
3 figures, 1 table
ISBN: 978-1-62616-222-8
Apr 2015

Public Management and Change series
Beryl A. Radin, Series Editor

Related Titles