Let Me Choose What I Want: The Influence of Incentive Choice Flexibility on the Quality of Crowdsourcing Solutions to Innovation Problems

Ehsan Noorzad Moghaddam, Alireza Aliahmadi*, Mehdi Bagherzadeh, Stefan Markovic*, Milena Micevski, Fatemeh Saghafi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Organizations increasingly engage in crowdsourcing to find solutions to their innovation problems, but many of these solutions are of low quality. This could be because organizations do not really know what motivates each individual participant to engage in crowdsourcing, and thus offer the same incentives to all. As a ‘one-size-fits-all’ incentive structure is not optimal due to divergent participant motives, in this paper, we aim to empirically investigate how providing participants with incentive choice flexibility impacts solution quality. Based on a between-subject field experiment, we find that participants who have an opportunity to choose their preferred incentive spend much more time developing their solutions and come up with higher quality solutions than those who are offered a single incentive option. Our study contributes to the literature by highlighting the importance of adopting a flexible incentive structure to improve the quality of the crowdsourced solutions, and by suggesting that an exclusive focus on how a single incentive type (either non-monetary or monetary) impacts solution quality is unsuitable for estimating such impact correctly.
Original languageEnglish
Article number102679
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Published online: 9 December 2022.


  • Crowdsourcing
  • Field experiment
  • Innovation problems
  • Motivation
  • Incentives
  • Solution quality

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