Rate or Trade? Identifying Winning Ideas in Open Idea Sourcing

Blohm, I., Riedl, C., Füller, J., Leimeister, J. M. (2016)
Information Systems Research
27(1), 27-48
March 1, 2016

Abstract

Information  technology (IT) has created new patterns of digitally-mediated collaboration  that allow open sourcing of ideas for new products and services. These novel  sociotechnical arrangements afford finely-grained manipulation of how tasks  can be represented and have changed the way organizations ideate. In this  paper, we investigate differences in behavioral decision-making resulting  from IT-based support of open idea evaluation. We report results from a  randomized experiment of 120 participants comparing IT-based decision-making  support using a rating scale (representing a judgment task) and a preference  market (representing a choice task). We find that the rating scale-based task  invokes significantly higher perceived ease of use than the preference  market-based task and that perceived ease of use mediates the effect of the  task representation treatment on the users’ decision quality. Furthermore,  we find that the understandability of ideas being evaluated, which we assess  through the ideas’ readability, and the perception of the task’s  variability moderate the strength of this mediation effect, which becomes  stronger with increasing perceived task variability and decreasing  understandability of the ideas. We contribute to the literature by explaining  how perceptual differences of task representations for open idea evaluation  affect the decision quality of users and translate into differences in  mechanism accuracy. These results enhance our understanding of how  crowdsourcing as a novel mode of value creation may effectively complement  traditional work structures.

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