Solvers’ Sustained Participation in Crowdsourcing Contest Market: The Role of Competitive Self-efficacy


Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

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Award date2 Oct 2018


Crowdsourcing contests have been a popular way for institutions or individuals to harness the online open crowd for problem solutions. This mode of crowdsourcing has been applied substantially to creative tasks, such as logo design, website design, or naming. The economic significance of this marketplace has been proved in recent years which make it a particularly interesting phenomenon to investigate. To promote the platform ecosystem, the intermediary platform in which the crowdsourcing contests are administered exerts much effort in not only attracting seekers to issue tasks but also in retaining solvers’ participation. However, facts were revealed that many solvers withdraw their effort after only a few submissions which make it important to understand what sustains solvers’ participation. This thesis aims to add insights into this research problem by focusing on individuals’ self-efficacy belief.

Despite being identified as one of the crucial factors that determine solvers’ sustained participation, solvers’ self-efficacy perception in the crowdsourcing contests market (CCM) has received relatively little attention and there exists much ambiguity in its mechanism. This thesis is consisted of two studies: first, we proposed a model that reconstructs the self-efficacy belief as competitive self-efficacy and incorporates the moderating role of regulatory focuses based on social cognitive theory and regulatory focus theory to offer a more comprehensive understanding of the role of self-efficacy. Second, we define the solvers’ sustained participation in crowdsourcing contests as a self-regulation process, and with competitive self-efficacy as the contingent factor, to reveal the effect of motivations on solvers’ sustained participation. This thesis aims to contribute to further studies on retaining solvers’ participation by appealing attention to the real mechanism that influences solvers’ decision and to offer implication for service providers to better identify the potential long-term core members and to better energize solvers’ participation. Through focusing on the uniqueness embedded in the solvers’ self-efficacy, this thesis enriches the literatures on continuance intention in crowdsourcing contests. Based on the integration of social cognitive theory and regulatory focuses theory, the first study reveals the role of competitive self-efficacy in solvers’ continuance intention. Meanwhile, the second study relies on the competitive self-efficacy as the contingent factor to answer to the call for research on motivation quality. The findings generated from these studies also offer important practical implications for the management of the crowdsourcing platforms.

    Research areas

  • competitive self-efficacy, promotion focus, prevention focus, motivation, self-regulation, crowdsourcing contest market, continuance behavior