Is Crowdsourcing a Way to Avoid Accountability?


In this current economy, many companies are turning to crowdsourcing in order to complete necessary tasks at a fraction of the cost.  It has proven to be a successful way to use the general populous to assist in the process of completing a variety of company tasks and projects.

According to Merraim-Webster, crowdsourcing is: “The practice of obtaining needed services, ideas, or content by soliciting contributions from a large group of people and especially from the online community rather than from traditional employees or suppliers.” (Merraim-Webster)

Some companies are now tweaking this model by using inside employee feedback and voting to make company-wide decisions.  Companies, like the one in the article linked to below, are asking employees to vote on such things as company perks and health insurance.  This article from CNN Money by Anne Fisher relates the story of 1SaleADay and their success implementing company-wide voting:

Whether or not this type of an employee voting structure takes off remains to be seen, but it seems the companies who have implemented it have so far seen a great deal of success.  I only have one problem with this concept, accountability.  If you crowdsource something, it is technically everyone’s responsibility.  It is almost a socialistic mindset.  Using the crowdsourcing/groupthink mindset, underperformers are rewarded by getting more than they deserve and rock-stars are punished by receiving less then they deserve.

What are your thoughts?  Can you hold individual employees accountable if you adopt a crowdsourcing/groupthink model of doing business?