Firms rely on employees as a source of ideas. As firms' idea pipeline grows, so does the need to filter ideas. Managers might thus spend most of their time evaluating others' ideas rather than creating ideas of their own, leaving firms with a reduced pool of ideas. Alternatively, evaluating others' ideas might inspire evaluators to ideas, thereby boosting firms' idea pipeline. We examine how idea evaluation affects managers' own idea creation using data from the idea management system of a large automobile firm. Event studies suggest large spillovers from idea evaluation: Managers are 2.71 times more likely to submit ideas on the day of idea evaluation than they are one day prior to idea evaluation. These spillovers persist, albeit at smaller scale, up till one week after idea evaluation. Our findings suggest that involving employees in idea evaluation might be an effective way for firms to elicit ideas.
Johanna Schnier joined KLU as a PhD candidate in September 2019. Her main research interest lies in innovation management. Specifically, she investigates how decision-makers assess innovative ideas, with a focus on potential evaluation biases that may arise. Her work is funded by the German Research Foundation (Project Title: “Idea evaluation in open, democratized innovation”). She is supervised by Prof. Dr. Christina Raasch and Prof. Dr. Prisca Brosi. Johanna holds degrees from the universities of Kiel (M.Sc. Economics) and Jena (B.Sc. in Economics & Business Administration, B.A. in Sociology). Before joining KLU, she worked as a Data Scientist with TUI.