The Effects of Exposure to Others’ Ideas and Their Ratings on Online Crowdsourcing Platforms on the Quantity and Novelty of Subsequently Generated Ideas
Bo Chen and Niek Althuizen
kHUB post date: December 14, 2022
Originally published: March 22, 2022 (PDMA JPIM • Vol 39, Issue 5 • September 2022)
Read time: 25 minutes
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Research has shown that exposing people to others' ideas and the ratings of those ideas can influence their subsequent idea generation performance. In this paper, we utilize a socio-cognitive perspective to study this in an online crowdsourcing context. The cognitive factor concerns knowledge activated in memory because of idea exposure, which can be used for subsequent idea generation. The social factor concerns idea ratings that may steer the search for ideas in memory in the direction of ideas that are more likely to receive approval. Our contribution to the literature concerns an investigation of the joint effect of (1) the type of ideas posted by others (i.e., common versus novel ideas) and (2) the ratings of those ideas (i.e., low versus high ratings) on subsequent idea generation performance. We find compelling evidence for an interaction effect between these two factors in four empirical studies. That is, exposure to posted ideas that are “highly-rated and novel” or “poorly-rated and common” can result in more novel subsequent ideas. Exposure to posted ideas that are “highly-rated and common” can result in a larger number of subsequent ideas. These findings have implications for product innovation managers who wish to exert more control over the number and type of generated ideas, for example, on online crowdsourcing platforms.