Tapping into diversity through open innovation platforms: The emergence of boundary-spanning practices

Natalia Levina, Anne Laure Fayard

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Crowdsourcing for innovation is gaining critical momentum, with an increasing number of organizations engaging with digital platforms. While collecting ideas from a broad set of participants is now easier than ever, combining and deploying them in innovative ways is becoming increasingly difficult. As a result, organizations are faced with challenges in productively integrating ideas generated by the crowd. Organizations seeking to learn about and combine new perspectives have traditionally turned to consulting companies to tap into external expertise. In this chapter, we compare how consulting companies approach the problem of translating and integrating across a diversity of expertise with how external innovation is addressed in innovation-focused crowdsourcing platforms. We examine the nature of boundaries that arise in both types of endeavors and draw on boundary-spanning theories to develop an understanding of the differences between traditional ways of integrating diverse ideas compared with digitally mediated approaches.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCreating and Capturing Value through Crowdsourcing
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages32
ISBN (Electronic)9780198816225
StatePublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Boundary spanning
  • Consulting
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Digital platforms
  • Idea integration
  • Innovation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance(all)
  • General Business, Management and Accounting


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