You are a junior consultant, specialising in Information Systems, at a leading international consulting firm. You have been assigned to a team that advises the UNSW Business School1 (UNSWBS) on global crowdsourcing. The team has been charged with investigating the crowdsourcing phenomenon and trends in order to make specific recommendations on crowdsourcing strategies for UNSWBS.
After several meetings with the client, it becomes clear that crowdsourcing platforms such as Mechanical Turk (www.mturk.com/mturk/welcome), Freelancer (www.freelancer.com.au), ODesk (www.odesk.com), and Kickstarter (www.kickstarter.com) are of particular interest. However, UNSWBS is unsure about the extent to which such international crowdsourcing platforms could be capable of posing radical challenges or opportunities for its organizational objectives and operations. Your manager has decided to prepare a presentation for the next meeting, and you are tasked with the responsibility of writing a briefing report that she can use to prepare her presentation to the client.
Prepare a Business Report (1,500 to 1,750 words, excluding appendices). The report should conduct an in-depth analysis of the various types of crowdsourcing platforms2 mentioned above.
(a) Identify the target markets (seekers/solvers) serviced by these crowdsourcing platforms (Mechanical Turk, Freelancer, ODesk and Kickstarter) and outline the value proposition provided to both seekers and solvers.
(b) Provide an illustration of the business model for ONE specific crowdsourcing platform of your choice (choose from Mechanical Turk, Freelancer, ODesk and Kickstarter) using the business model canvas, and evaluate the strength of the business model.
(c) Explain how the specific crowdsourcing platform (the same one you have chosen above in point 2) leverages on technology to create value for both seekers and solvers.
(d) Discuss the opportunities and threats posed by the specific crowdsourcing platform (the same one you have chosen above in point 2) of which your client (UNSWBS) should be aware, if it were to utilize the service of the specific crowdsourcing platform.
1 Include a ONE-PAGE write-up of any assumptions that you make about your client as Appendix A.
2 Include a ONE-PAGE overview of the crowdsourcing platforms as Appendix B.
You are required to carefully consider the points that you wish to make in this report. A ‘brain dump’ of all you know is of little value. You should consider using tables and figures to present some material as they may help structure your argument.
In order to prepare your assignment you will need to undertake research. However, you should ensure that you use the information gathered to illustrate your argument; you should not simply describe your research findings. You should also ensure that your sources are appropriately referenced.
In preparing the assignment, you should place yourself in the role of a consultant. It is important that you provide your audience with information that is customised for their situation rather than producing material that reads like a generic textbook. You should therefore illustrate that you understand your client’s context and priorities through Appendix A detailing any assumptions that you make and how they relate to the discussion in your report.
Marks are available as follows:
(e) A well-researched and articulated analysis identifying the target markets (seekers/solvers) serviced by the crowdsourcing platforms, and outlining the value proposition provided to both seekers and solvers (15 percent).
(f) A well-researched description of the business model for the specific crowdsourcing platform of your choice using the business model canvas (20 percent).
(g) A well-articulated and justified argument evaluating the strength of the business model for the specific crowdsourcing platform of your choice (15 percent).
(h) A well-researched and articulated explanation of how the specific crowdsourcing platform of your choice leverages on technology to create value for both seekers and solvers (25 percent).
(i) A well-articulated and justified analysis of the opportunities and threats for UNSWBS arising from your analysis of the specific crowdsourcing platform of your choice (15 percent).
(j) The effective and coherent presentation of information in a format suitable for a consulting report. Adherence to UNSWBS presentation standards including Harvard referencing and the use of acceptable research materials (10 percent).
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