Crowdsourcing as a business model: Extrinsic motivations for knowledge sharing in user-generated content websites

Nitza Geri, Ruti Gafni, Peter Bengov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this empirical study is to investigate extrinsic motivations that may affect adding or acknowledging user-generated content (UGC) on business websites, which are based on voluntary crowdsourcing. Design/methodology/approach: A conceptual model of extrinsic motivations for knowledge sharing in UGC-based websites was developed, suggesting reciprocity, awareness of rewards and prestige as main extrinsic motivations for adding content. The model was examined via an online survey of users of three websites that varied in the attributes of knowledge shared and reward type: The Traveler (tangible rewards), Stack Overflow (virtual rewards) and Waze (virtual rewards). Findings: Importance of extrinsic motivations varied among websites, as it may be affected by attributes of the knowledge shared. Reciprocity positively affected recommending the website, and adding content affected acknowledging content. Research limitations/implications: Investigating extrinsic motivations is important because websites may take actions that affect them. Further research is required to reveal the potential of voluntary crowdsourcing in business contexts addressing both intrinsic and extrinsic motivations, prosumption and open innovation. Practical implications: When reciprocity is a major aspect of a UGC website, badges and similar mechanisms may serve as a main extrinsic motivation to share knowledge. Originality/value: The novel empirically validated model provides theoretical and practical insights for designing mechanisms for increasing extrinsic motivation for knowledge sharing according to specific characteristics of UGC websites.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)90-111
Number of pages22
JournalJournal of Global Operations and Strategic Sourcing
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, © Emerald Publishing Limited.


  • Awareness of rewards
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Extrinsic motivations
  • Knowledge sharing
  • Prestige
  • Reciprocity
  • User-generated content


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