Tournaments to Crowdsource Innovation: The Role of Moderator Feedback and Participation Intensity

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Firms increasingly use innovation tournaments to crowdsource innovation ideas from customers. This paper uncovers antecedents and consequences of customers’ participation intensity over the course of a tournament. More specifically, the authors theorize on the effects of the type and timing of moderating feedback to tournament participants on their participation intensity, and on the effect of the latter on idea quality. Through two longitudinal experiments using a commercial innovation tournament platform, they show that moderating feedback stimulates ideators’ participation intensity. They find that negative feedback increases participation intensity, as compared to no feedback or to positive feedback. Moreover, negative feedback - either provided in isolation or together with positive feedback - is more effective during the early stages than in the later stages of a tournament. Through a large-scale survey among managers, the authors show that higher participation intensity leads to higher idea quality and better business performance. The effect of participation intensity on idea quality is stronger than the effect of number of ideas and as strong as the effect of number of participants on idea quality.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-157
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Marketing
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 11 Dec 2018

Research programs

  • ESE - MKT


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