Quotation Franke, Nikolaus, Topic, Philipp. 2015. Self-selection in innovation contests. 13th Open and User Innovation Society Meeting, Lissabon, Portugal, 13.07.-15.07..




Due to the easy access to problem-solvers facilitated by the Internet, innovation contests have gained increased popularity in recent years. Self-selection of potential problem solvers has been portrayed as the fundamental reason for the astonishing success of innovation contests (Afuah & Tucci, 2012; Jeppesen & Lakhani, 2010). The underlying idea is that self-selecting individuals know more about their capabilities and knowledge than a central agent who assigns the task. Ideally, an "unusual suspect" (Lakhani & Jeppesen, 2007) for whom the perfect solution to the problem is obvious, self-selects into the competition. However, there is no guarantee that the voluntary and open character of innovation contests only works this way. Self-selection might also mean that individuals with much over-confidence and little knowledge find their way into the contest, or, even worse, that individuals with the sought capabilities intentionally self-select out of the contest. Little is known on how self-selection in innovation contests actually works and which factors trigger its positive or negative effects. All we know is that self-selection actually happens to a large degree. For example, the "Save our Energy" contest on energy-efficiency of the German city of Munich, obtained over 20,000 clicks on the innovation contest's website, but only 308 registrations, and 163 eventually submitted ideas (Adamczyk, Bullinger & Moeslein, 2010). Many other accounts suggest that this massive self-selection is a typical figure. The objective of this project is thus to explore the process of self-selection in innovation contests, its effects, and the factors that trigger the individuals' decisions to select in and out. Enhancing our knowledge on this important aspect is not only of academic interest, it also allows organizers to design their innovation contests more effectively.


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Publication's profile

Status of publication Published
Affiliation WU
Type of publication Paper presented at an academic conference or symposium
Language English
Title Self-selection in innovation contests
Event 13th Open and User Innovation Society Meeting
Year 2015
Date 13.07.-15.07.
Country Portugal
Location Lissabon


Franke, Nikolaus (Details)
Topic, Philipp (Former researcher)
Department of Strategy and Innovation DP (Details)
Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation IN (Details)
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