The effectiveness of using crowdsourcing for improving information services: an action research approach

Ali Saif Said Al-Aufi*, Nabhan Al-Harrasi, Azhar Al-Abri

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to identify the status of using crowdsourcing to develop information services through the Twitter platform and to determine the factors affecting such usage. Design/methodology/approach: A qualitative action research approach was employed to achieve the objectives of the study and to provide answers to the research questions. The effectiveness of using crowdsourcing technique for improving information services has been explored through five procedural stages: diagnostics, action planning, action taking, evaluation and determined learning. Three tools were used to collect data: open interviews, content analysis of the sampled accounts on Twitter and users' perceptions regarding information services. Findings: The results of the study revealed that crowdsourcing was not used in the development of information services per se, but it has been used for other purposes. The results also revealed that several factors influenced the adoption of using crowdsourcing to develop information services, including factors related to the institutional trust in crowds' capabilities, the nature of service and type of the needed development, and finally, the platform used to conduct crowdsourcing. The results of the action research proved that using crowdsourcing to develop information services could be effective. Practical implications: The study suggests a model that can be used to test changes implemented in organizations, especially regarding adoption of crowdsourcing as a framework to achieve the objectives of the institution, particularly in the planning processes. Originality/value: This research paper produces new knowledge through using a qualitative action research approach to understand the potential of social media in crowdsourcing. There have been no similar studies conducted in the region for the specified research design. The results add to the level of learning and raise awareness within the research community regarding the effectiveness of using crowdsourcing via social media platforms to improve the efficiency of information services.

Original languageEnglish
JournalLibrary Hi Tech
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • Action research
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Information services
  • Library services
  • Social media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Library and Information Sciences

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