Factors Affecting the Practices of External Problem Solvers in Broadcast Search

Vincenzo Corvello, Gianpaolo Iazzolino


In Broadcast Search (BS) an organization discloses the details of a problem to a community of potential solvers. An online intermediary often manages the process. This study investigates the problem solving practices of solvers. In particular it focuses on the intermediation services and knowledge sources thy use during BS. A questionnaire was distributed to successful solvers. Ninety-three complete questionnaires were returned. The results show that intermediation services can be divided in 3 categories: managing interfaces, supporting collaboration and supporting problem solving. Similarly the sources of knowledge can be divided in: institutional, social and output-oriented sources. The results also show that differences in solver’s use of intermediation services and knowledge sources can be explained taking into account solvers’ experience, organizational context as well as the nature of the proposed solution


open innovation; crowdsourcing; broadcast search; contingent factors; innovation intermediary; innovation contests; practices; organizational context; inventors

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.4067/S0718-27242013000200014

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