Collective Intelligence and Social Computing: A Literature Review

  • Luca Cremona
  • Aurelio Ravarini
Conference paper


In recent years the rise of 2.0 applications and platforms, commonly known as “social software”, has been promising to provide firms and organizations with new ways of communicating internally and externally. The main characteristics of these solutions are to improve information flows at many levels and between different actors. Its most credited potential lies in the support to team work and project management where people, by exchanging information and knowledge, can act – collectively – more intelligently than the sum of single individuals, producing what is referred to as collective intelligence. This emerging concept – as such still under definition – can be described according two different perspectives: at a conceptual level it is the intelligence emerging from the distance collaboration of a multitude of individuals based on on-line software systems and, at the IT level it is the bunch of user-centric applications often addressed as social computing that enhance an high degree of community formation and exchange of information. This research paper aims at defining a comprehensive framework of social computing and collective intelligence to draw a coherent and non-redundant picture of this rapidly growing domain. Through a multidisciplinary approach we identified about 160 articles, published after 1990 on conference proceedings and journals in the fields of information systems, knowledge management, organization science and innovation management. Within this set 60 relevant articles were reviewed in order to infer a limited set of n aggregated definitions and identify the related most promising areas for future research.


Business Process Knowledge Management Business Process Management Comprehensive Framework Collective Intelligence 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Dubé L., Bourhis A., Jacob R. (2006). Towards a typology of Virtual Communities of Practice. Interdisciplinary Journal of Information, Knowledge and Management, 1.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Wenger, E.; McDermott, R.; Snyder, W.M. (2002). Cultivating Communities of Practice ( Boston: Harvard Business School Press. pp. 304.
  3. 3.
    Wasko, M.M., & Faraj, S. (2000). “It is what one does”: why people participate and help others in electronic communities of practice. Journal of Strategic Information Systems, 9: 155–173.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Parameswaran M. (2007). Social Computing: An Overview. Communications of the Association for Information Systems 19: 762–780Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Surowiecki J. (2004). The wisdom of the crowds. Random House.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Lévy P. (1994). L’Intelligence collective. Pour une anthropologie du cyberespace. La Découverte, Paris,Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Parameswaran M., Whinston A. B. (2007). Research issues in Social Computing. Journal of the Association for Information Systems 8, 6(1): 336–350.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Li C., Bernoff J. (2008). Groundswell. Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies. Harvard Business Press.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Malone, T. W., Laubacher, R, Dellarocas, C. N., (2009). Harnessing crowds: Mapping the genome of collective intelligence (Report No. 4732–09). MIT Sloan Research Available at SSRN:
  10. 10.
    Castelluccio, M. (2006). Collective intelligence. Strategic Finance. Tech Forum. Retrieved from:
  11. 11.
    Argote L., McEvily B., Reagans R. (2003). Managing Knowledge in Organizations: An Integrative Framework and Review of Emerging Themes. Management Science 49(4): 571–582.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Kapetanios E. (2009). On the Notion of Collective intelligence: Opportunity or Challenge? International Journal on Organisational and Collective intelligence (IJOCI) 1(1) Idea Group Publishing.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Gregg D. G. (2010). Designing for Collective Intelligence. Communications of the ACM 53(4).Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Oinas-Kukkonen H., Lyytinen K., Yo Y. (2010). Social Network and Information System: Ongoing and Future Research Streams. Journal of the Association for Information Systems 11(2).Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Teo T. S. H., Nishant R., Goh M., Aggarwal S. (2011). Leveraging Collaborative technologies to build a knowledge sharing culture at HP Analytics. MIS Quarterly 10(1).Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Brabham D. C. (2008). Crowdsourcing as a Model for Problem Solving. The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies 14(1): 75–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Doan A., Ramakrishnan R., Halevy A. Y. (2011). Crowdsourcing Systems on the World-Wide Web. Communications of the ACM 54(4).Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Davis J. G. (2011). From Crowdsourcing to Crowdservicing. IEEE Internet Computing 15(3): 92–94.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Università Carlo Cattaneo – LIUCCastellanzaItaly

Personalised recommendations