Idea Screening in Engineering Design Using Employee-Driven Wisdom of the Crowds

Balder Onarheim, Bo Thomas Christensen

Research output: Working paperResearch

43 Downloads (Pure)


The paper investigates the question of screening ideas in the ‘fuzzy front end’ of engineering design, examining the validity of employee voting schemes and related biases. After an employee-driven innovation project at {Company Name removed for review}, 99 ideas were to be screened for further development. Based on the concept of ‘wisdom of the crowds’, all ideas were individually rated by a broad selection of employees, and their choices of ideas and idea categories compared to those of a small team of senior marketers. The study also tested for two biases: visual complexity and endowment effect/ownership of ideas. The study shows that the crowd wisdom of employees significantly correlates with the preferences of the marketing team: overall, in top 12 selected ideas and in choice of idea categories. This match increases when including only the ratings of the most experienced employees. The experienced employees also proved to be less affected by visual complexity in the ideas presented. The endowment effect was potent in that every employee proved to be more likely to select their own ideas over others, but this effect disappeared when aggregating across the crowd of employees.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationFrederiksberg
PublisherCopenhagen Business School [wp]
Number of pages21
Publication statusPublished - 2011
SeriesCreative Encounters Working Paper


  • Evaluation of Creative Ideas
  • Creativity
  • Idea Evaluation
  • Idea Screening
  • Engineering Design
  • Fuzzy Front End
  • Innovation
  • Evaluator Experience
  • New Product Development
  • Wisdom of the Crowds
  • Employee-driven Innovation
  • Idea Filtering

Cite this