Helping Yourself or Others? Motivation Dynamics for High-Performing Volunteers in GLAM Crowdsourcing

2020-05-18

Alam, S. L., Sun, R., & Campbell, J. (2020). Helping Yourself or Others? Motivation Dynamics for High-Performing Volunteers in GLAM Crowdsourcing . Australasian Journal of Information Systems, 24. https://doi.org/10.3127/ajis.v24i0.2599

Abstract
While most crowdsourcing (CS) cases in the literature focus on commercial organisations, little is known about volunteers’ motivation of initial and continued participation in not-for-profit CS projects and importantly, about how the motivations may change over time. It is vital to understand motivation and motivational dynamics in a not-for-profit context because a fundamental challenge for not-for-profit CS initiations is to recruit and keep volunteers motivated without any formal contract or financial incentives. To tackle this challenge, we explore high performing volunteers’ initial motivation for joining and sustaining with a GLAM (galleries, libraries, archives and museums) CS project. We situated our interpretive exploration in a case study of the Australian Newspapers CS project initiated by the National Library of Australia. Based on the case study, we found that high-performing volunteers were motivated by a combination of personal, collective, and external factors classified into intrinsic, extrinsic, and internalised extrinsic motivations. Further, we found that these motivations changed over time. Specifically, many volunteers presented substantial personal (i.e., personal interest and fun) and community-centric motivations (i.e. altruism and non-profit cause) when they initially joined the project, whereas external motivations (i.e., recognition and rewards) had a greater impact on long-term participation. Our findings offer implications for CS system design (e.g., user profiles, tagging and commenting), incentive structure (e.g., reputation-based ranking, leader boards), and relational mechanisms (e.g., open communication channels) to stimulate sustainable contributions for not-for-profit CS initiatives.

Keywords: Motivation, Crowdsourcing, Not-for-profit, Motivation dynamics, GLAM