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Innovation Through Interactive Crowdsourcing: The Role Of Boundary Objects

Souad Djelassi, Isabelle Decoopman

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The aim of this study is to explore company–consumer collaboration in the innovation process through the practice of interactive crowdsourcing. This type of crowdsourcing lies within the co-creation process and is characterized by close interactions between the two categories of actors. To pursue our aim, we draw on the concept of “boundary object,” developed within sociology. This concept can help understand the dynamics of interactions and collective action among disparate actors. The study’s findings show that boundary objects and boundary negotiating artifacts facilitate the exchange of knowledge and expertise between the world of companies and the world of consumers. They also highlight the role of these objects in revealing influence and power games liable to generate disappointment and tensions between actors. The study sheds new light on the advantages, limitations, and challenges of a co-creation process.