Influences on non-profit GLAM crowdsourcing : an interpretive analysis of the Australian newspapers digitisation program

  • Sultana Lubna Alam

    Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis


    The aim of the research described in this thesis was to examine crowdsourcing as a collaboration system, particularly for non-profit sectors such as galleries, libraries, archives, and museums (abbreviated hereafter as GLAM) where no financial incentives are offered to contributors. Although most crowdsourcing cases cited in the literature have focused on their application by for-profit organisations, crowdsourcing is increasingly being used by not-for-profit organisations as a means of eliciting members of the public to contribute to activities that would normally have been carried out by staff or by external contractors. While some studies have attempted to address non-profit contextual issues, these studies are predominantly descriptive and lack theoretical orientation. In light of this, crowdsourcing collaboration technologies need to be understood as open and adaptive technologies that reveal and unfold their full potential only in the context of emerging practices of technology, organisation and crowd. In order to contribute to knowledge and possible theory on factors that influence the outcomes of non-profit crowdsourcing initiatives, there is a need to carry out in-depth and in-situ research within an organisational context. This study aims to extend existing knowledge of the key influences on non-profit crowdsourcing in a GLAM context and to clarify and expand our understanding of crowdsourcing phenomena. Taking a socio-technical perspective, the study extends our understanding of the key influences on non-profit crowdsourcing through an interpretive analysis of the Australian Newspapers Digitisation Program (ANDP) initiative of the National Library of Australia (NLA). Data collection was predominantly through semi-structured interviews with stakeholders of the project, but documentation review and website observation also contributed data for this study. The study was informed through multiple theories at different stages of the research. The research employed an inductive thematic data analysis technique and themes emerged from integrative triangulation of data, theory and stakeholder perspectives. Relevant theories were used as explanatory lenses to theorise the emergent influences that were categorised as motivational, relational and technological. The dynamics between these three influences (technology, relational mechanism and motivational) were central findings of the study in that they were configured over time through a process of motive alignment. Based on these findings ,a conceptual framework is presented that describes an adaptive model of key influences on a non-profit GLAM crowdsourcing initiative. This adaptive model of influences recognises the dynamic nature of initiatives like crowdsourcing and highlights the need for alignment of motivations when designing and implementing crowdsourcing applications for the not-for-profit sector.
    Date of Award2014
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorJohn Campbell (Supervisor), Craig Mcdonald (Supervisor) & Dale Mackrell (Supervisor)

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