Cooperating or not in Innovation Contests? Effects and Boundary Conditions of Competitive Reward Structures

Christoph Grimpe, Marion Poetz, Nathan Rietzler, Florian Waldner

Publikation: KonferencebidragPaperForskningpeer review


Many platforms hosting innovation contests allow their participants to share ideas and knowledge with each other and many participants take advantage of this opportunity, questioning common beliefs that competitive rewards lead individuals to withhold knowledge and impair the progress of others while cooperative rewards promote knowledge exchange. In this paper, we build on social interdependence theory to analyze how and when competitive reward structures influence the likelihood that contestants cooperate. Using an experimental vignette study, we first test the effects of competition on cooperative behavior (Study 1) and find that competitive reward structures negatively impact an individual’s likelihood to cooperate, with the effect being more pronounced for sharing compared to absorbing knowledge. In Study 2, we apply a multi-stage configurational approach to first identify, categorize and specify attributes that influence individuals’ decision to cooperate (or not) and then explore their importance weights and inter-relatedness in an adaptive choice-based conjoint analysis combined with an ensemble cluster analysis. We find that it is not a single, but bundles of attributes dominated by either the fear of misappropriation in all competitive reward structures or by extrinsic motivation in the non- and lowly competitive conditions and intrinsic motivation in the highly competitive condition. Our findings hold important implications for the design of innovation platforms and contests.
Antal sider37
StatusUdgivet - 2023
BegivenhedDRUID23 Conference - NOVA School of Business and Economics, Lisbon, Portugal
Varighed: 10 jun. 202312 jun. 2023
Konferencens nummer: 44


KonferenceDRUID23 Conference
LokationNOVA School of Business and Economics


  • Innovation contests
  • Cooperation
  • Competition
  • Coopetition
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Individual-level
  • Social interdependence theory