This research program focuses on the evaluation of ideas for new products or processes. While past research has mainly focused on idea creation, more recent research has recognized the importance of idea evaluation and selection in research and practice. Any mode of organizing for innovation can only succeed if ideas are effectively vetted such that ultimately the best ideas are selected for implementation. Being key to organizational performance, idea evaluation deserves a prominent role in economics and management research.
This research program seeks to uncover new sources of idea evaluation bias and explain mechanisms, moderators, and consequences. It investigates how organizational hierarchy, personal ties and social comparison bias the idea evaluator in his or her selection or rejection of an idea. For instance, idea evaluators may evaluate ideas more favorably when these ideas originate from hierarchical superiors rather than subordinates. The project subsequently examines the consequences of idea evaluation, especially idea rejection. The project analyzes idea evaluation in the context of digital innovation communities both inside firms (e.g. in enterprise crowdfunding) and outside, in the customer domain. The research program uses large quantities of archival data from such digital innovation communities combined with other firm data, surveys, and lab experiments. Ultimately, it seeks to make a unique, multi-pronged, and innovative contribution to both research and practice.