Crowdsourcing AOL case

Table of Content

Management Information System
Crowdsourcing at AOL Case Analysis

1. A brief analysis of the case study
AOL engaged in what is called “micro-tasking”, and is believed to revolutionize the virtual workforce. Micro-tasking is what Daniel Maloney, an AOL executive, applied when he was faced with inventorying a vast video library. He broke the large job into small pieces and utilized a crowdsourcing IT platform, Mechanical Turk, in order to describe each task that he required to be done. Each worker was asked to find web pages containing a video and identify the video’s source and location. The project started within a week and completed in a couple of months. The total labor cost was as low as it would‘ve been to hire two man-month temporary workers. 2. Discussion questions

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2-1. Is crowdsourcing as used by AOL a form of outsourcing? Why of why not? Yes, I consider that crowdsourcing is one of the forms of outsourcing. Definition of outsourcing means that the purchase of a good or service that was previously provided internally or that could be provided internally, but is now provided by outside vendors. Crowdsourcing can be implied almost the same one. Furthermore, strictly speaking, the very definition of crowdsourcing implies that it is a form of outsourcing. Nevertheless, the differences between them exist some points namely, costs, risks, level of control, implications, nature of the party that handles the outsourced function, and so on. 2-2. What steps do you think Maloney might have taken to ensure that the crowdsourcing would be a success for the inventory project? I consider the following points are critical paths.1) To confirm the explicit project 2) The large jobs are broke into a micro-tasks and Maloney creates a policy to follow for people as they work on the tasks. 3) He judged Mechanical Turk provided AOL with high quality, low cost, global and on-demand workers. Thus he describes these tasks that he needs to be done on Mechanical Turk. 4) A large number of people who registered Mechanical Turk could read the tasks and decide if they wanted to perform them. He assembles and controls the entire project.

2-3. What factors should be considered when deciding whether or not to crowdsource a particular part of a business?  I think the following three points implies factors to decide.

1) Any tasks that require advanced knowledge in a certain area should not be crowd sourced. Because managers controls a large number of workers and review the quality of services, critical functions related to company’s brand should not be crowd sourced. 2)Even if each company has its strategic capability, crowdsourcing vital areas that sustain company’s capabilities might lead a company to lose its advantage.

3) Crowd sourcing is more suitable for non-creative, simple works to be break into micro tasks. 2-4. Describe the advantages and disadvantages of crowdsourcing. I consider that the advantages of crowdsourcing not only reduce cost, but also provide working opportunities with a large number of general people.

For example, 1) Total labor cost can be reduced.

2) It’s generally faster than hiring temp staff or traditional outsourcing firms

3)Mothers, who quit working even if they have working experiences, can utilize working opportunities in order to work as a part time job. 4

) Crowdsourcing provide NEET (Not in Education, Employed and Trained) people with opportunities to join something social activities.

On the other hand, disadvantage implies that

1) Dishonest companies maliciously utilize people without caring for minimum wage which designated by law. In addition, there is a possibility that underage students are in charge of mind-numbing tasks for long time.

2) Employer gets some risks that skill level of a large number of people mismatch, or not meet the requirement of service quality if there is not a criteria of service quality like service level agreement.

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Crowdsourcing AOL case. (2016, Nov 16). Retrieved from

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