Using targeted design interventions to encourage extra-role crowdsourcing behavior

Oded Nov, Jeffrey Laut, Maurizio Porfiri

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Crowdsourcing has seen a substantial increase in interest from researchers and practitioners in recent years. Being a new form of work facilitated by information technology, the rise of crowdsourcing calls for the development of new theoretical insights. Our focus in this article is on extra-role behavior - employees' voluntary activities, which are not part of their prescribed duties. Specifically, we explored how user interface design can help increase extra-role behavior among crowdsourcing workers. In a randomized experiment, we examined the joint effects of the presentation of a performance display to crowdsourcing workers and the personal attributes of these workers on the workers' likelihood to engage in extra-role behavior. The experimental setting included an image analysis task performed on an environmental monitoring website. We compared workers' behavior across the different experimental conditions and found that the interaction between the presence of a performance display and the workers' personality trait of curiosity has a significant impact on the likelihood of engaging in extra-role behavior. In particular, the presence of a performance display was associated with increased likelihood of extra-role behavior among low-curiosity workers, and no change in extra-role behavior was observed among high-curiosity users. Implications for design are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)483-489
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the Association for Information Science and Technology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems and Management
  • Library and Information Sciences


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