Product details

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Abstract

This case is meant for discussing the concept of motivation in the organisational behaviour course. It was written to raise an interesting discussion over how companies are benefitted by non-employees or volunteer employees. What motivates volunteer employees to expend their resources on a company that they are not working for? What are the intrinsic and extrinsic motivating factors for all such volunteer employees? How should companies benefit from volunteer employees? The case attempts to answer all these questions through ThisNext.com. Founded in 2006, by Gordon Gould and Craig Ogg, ThisNext emerged as a social shopping website. In an already crowded social shopping market, ThisNext strives to differentiate itself using its product recommendations. Scripted by bloggers and Internet users, these product recommendations help on-line shoppers in making their purchase decisions. The website also helps virtual shoppers in discovering new product offerings, which were otherwise hard to find. The company has benefitted from this army of volunteer workers, who receive praise and recognition in lieu of their efforts. However, in the wake of the economic downturn, the company finds itself in an ambiguous position. Will workers continue to invest in building their personal brand names during economically challenging times? Can ThisNext stay ahead of competition solely on the basis of its unique product recommendations? This case can be used to: (1) explore and analyse the factors that have contributed to ThisNext''s success; (2) understand the factors responsible for motivating volunteer workers and to assess why volunteers are willing to be associated with ThisNext; and (3) analyse the challenges of relying on volunteer workers.
Other setting(s):
2009

About

Abstract

This case is meant for discussing the concept of motivation in the organisational behaviour course. It was written to raise an interesting discussion over how companies are benefitted by non-employees or volunteer employees. What motivates volunteer employees to expend their resources on a company that they are not working for? What are the intrinsic and extrinsic motivating factors for all such volunteer employees? How should companies benefit from volunteer employees? The case attempts to answer all these questions through ThisNext.com. Founded in 2006, by Gordon Gould and Craig Ogg, ThisNext emerged as a social shopping website. In an already crowded social shopping market, ThisNext strives to differentiate itself using its product recommendations. Scripted by bloggers and Internet users, these product recommendations help on-line shoppers in making their purchase decisions. The website also helps virtual shoppers in discovering new product offerings, which were otherwise hard to find. The company has benefitted from this army of volunteer workers, who receive praise and recognition in lieu of their efforts. However, in the wake of the economic downturn, the company finds itself in an ambiguous position. Will workers continue to invest in building their personal brand names during economically challenging times? Can ThisNext stay ahead of competition solely on the basis of its unique product recommendations? This case can be used to: (1) explore and analyse the factors that have contributed to ThisNext''s success; (2) understand the factors responsible for motivating volunteer workers and to assess why volunteers are willing to be associated with ThisNext; and (3) analyse the challenges of relying on volunteer workers.

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Other setting(s):
2009

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