Collective intelligence: How can firms benefit from it?
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This thesis reviews the source of collective intelligence from when it was firstly implemented. The goal is to describe and understand collective intelligence as a concept but also to define its importance in firms and generally in society nowadays. Therefore, collective intelligence will be examined and how it is defined in general terms. Additionally, it was reviewed the application of collective intelligence in firms as a tool of innovation will be reviewed. Groups of individuals who work together are able to create groups of collective intelligence to provide solutions for a variety of tasks. As a result, the collective intelligence affects the firm’s performance either negatively or positively. In a variety of studies, the results about collective intelligence can alter. Regarding some studies, it appears that a group of people will make more excelling decisions than an individual alone. On the other hand, there are other studies which support that groups can make terrible decisions as well. However, there are different factors that can contribute to this effect such as the social pressures, unclear goals, structure of the team, while their opinion may not be heard. Even though, the results may be disastrous for the firm, we can use a variety of methods and tools and be more cautious when applying it, in order to improve collective intelligence. Additionally, the process to create the knowledge and innovation for the benefit of the firms was analysed, as well as how the progress in technology can be used as a significant tool in collective intelligence to a higher degree. Examples of collective intelligence are pointed out in order to access the extent of possibilities that can be created. Next follows an investigation of whether collective intelligence can bring any changes in the way society works. In order to create a competitive advantage in the external environment we will study how to apply collective intelligence for the benefit of the firm. Moreover, the influence that the social and digital technologies have on collective intelligence are examined and how to use it correctly. Furthermore, some ways to mention how to overcome various challenges from the application of collective intelligence will be included. One key fact that arises from the research is that firms should treat and communicate with all employees equally. Additionally, a case study was contacted on Pfizer Inc. a drug manufacture that applied the “Idea Central Farm”, creating a new form of collective intelligence.