The Impact of Cooperation in Innovation Contests: Poison Pill, Placebo, or Tonic?

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Abstract

Recent applications of crowdsourcing integrate structures where contestants compete against each other, yet are also allowed to see and comment on others’ contributions. While literature on knowledge recombination in cooperation and competition on problem-solving is ample, the interplay is not. Whether or not allowing for cooperation under competition is a poison pill, placebo, or tonic for idea generation performance remains a puzzle. We explore this interplay and investigate further boundary conditions that influence the outcomes of these relationships. Evidence from a lab experiment with 294 individuals and qualitative coding of the cooperation processes suggests that letting participants cooperate causes mixed effects. The overall innovativeness, novelty, and usefulness of the submitted ideas do not increase through cooperation. However, cooperation has a negative effect on idea feasibility. The results also show that cooperation under low competition increases the benefit a solution offers to users. Content analysis of the cooperation process reveals that participants are influenced by both the feedback comments and the ability to see others’ ideas, but mostly depend on feedback comments that offered no substantially new knowledge when revising ideas. Our results contribute to a better theoretical understanding of cooperation under competition in crowdsourcing contests.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Eighty-First Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management
EditorsSonia Taneja
Number of pages1
Place of PublicationBriarcliff Manor, NY
PublisherAcademy of Management
Publication date2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2021: Bringing the Manager Back in Management - Online
Duration: 29 Jul 20214 Aug 2021
Conference number: 81
https://aom.org/events/annual-meeting

Conference

ConferenceThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2021
Number81
LocationOnline
Period29/07/202104/08/2021
Internet address
SeriesAcademy of Management Proceedings
ISSN2151-6561

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