Introducing the Concept of Creative Ancestry as a Means of Increasing Perceived Fairness and Satisfaction in Online Collaboration: An Experimental Study

Kevin O’Leary*, Rob Gleasure, Philip O'Reilly, Joseph Feller

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Online collaborations allow teams to pool knowledge from multiple domains, often across dispersed geographic locations to find innovative solutions for complex, multi-faceted problems. However, motivating individuals within online groups can prove difficult, as individual contributions are easily missed or forgotten. This study introduces the concept of creative ancestry, which describes the extent to which collaborative outputs can be traced back to the individual contributions that preceded them. We build a laboratory experiment to demonstrate the impact of creative ancestry on perceptions of fairness and output quality in online collaborations. Results from this experiment suggest the addition of creative ancestry has a positive impact on these variables and is associated with increasing perceptions of procedural justice and possibly interactional and distributive justice, dependent on the level of perceived creativity and cognitive consensus.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102369
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Published online: 13. August 2021.


  • Online collaboration
  • Laboratory experiment
  • Social justice
  • Creative ancestry
  • Blockchain

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