Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Two-sided Market; Online Platform; Crowdsourcing

Major Advisor

Sulin Ba

Co-Major Advisor

Jan Stallaert

Associate Advisor

Shun-Yang Lee

Field of Study

Business Administration


Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Campus Access


An online two-sided platform connects two distinct user groups: suppliers and consumers. As the two sides of the platform, suppliers and consumers provide each other with positive network externalities. The crowdsourcing platform, which has become increasingly popular for businesses as a venue to seek new ideas for product and technology development these days, is a special type of online two-sided platforms. On such a platform, a group of online workers participates in crowdsourcing contests by independently completing a task proposed by seekers, who will then select the most satisfactory submissions and offer monetary awards to the winners. This process of solution seekers offering incentives and workers providing independent solutions provides a new problem-solving model by utilizing the “wisdom of the crowd.” A crowdsourcing platform sometimes seeks to facilitate knowledge transfer among contestants through certain designs of the platform or contests. However, with the existence of competition and the necessity of solution diversity in crowdsourcing contest mechanisms, the commonly beneficial process of knowledge transfer and integration may not always enhance the outcome quality from crowdsourcing contests. Therefore, to appropriately design the features relevant to knowledge transfer and sharing on the platform, a crowdsourcing platform needs a comprehensive understanding of the role of knowledge transfer, sharing, and integration in crowdsourcing contests.

This dissertation studies two knowledge transfer approaches on crowdsourcing platforms. One chapter explores the explicit knowledge sharing process on crowdsourcing platforms and its impact on crowdsourcing contestants’ performance and contest outcomes. In the subsequent chapter, we experimentally examine the contest structures differentiated by the degree to which they enable knowledge integration – an implicit form of knowledge sharing – through different phases of a contest. The two chapters provide important findings for the mechanisms and effects of knowledge transfer among contestants in crowdsourcing contests, together with managerial implications for the platform to design and implement the two knowledge transfer approaches in appropriate ways. In addition to the focus on crowdsourcing platforms, another chapter of this dissertation also investigates the network differentiation on general two-sided platforms and examines a differential pricing scheme that accommodates the existence of the network differentiation.