Community-Based Innovation Contests: Where Competition Meets Cooperation
Creativity and Innovation Management, Vol. 19, No. 3, 2010
14 Pages Posted: 21 Feb 2011
Date Written: 2010
While the principle of competition has long been found to be conducive to innovation, community-based innovation contests additionally offer the possibilities of interaction and cooperation among participants. This duality makes innovation contests an interesting field for both academia and practice. However, a surge in practical implementations stands in contrast to a still restricted body of academic knowledge in the field. To close this gap, drawing on a boundary spanning perspective, we examine if and how cooperation in the competitive setting of innovation contests leads to innovativeness. Cooperative orientation of contest participants is explored within a community-based innovation contest run in 2009 at one of the largest universities in Germany. We analyse a complete set of data collected during the contest, data from a follow-up survey among individual participants (n=943), as well as video and audio footage from four focus groups. Findings suggest that a very high as well as a very low degree of cooperative orientation result in a high degree of innovativeness, while a medium degree of cooperative orientation results in a low degree of innovativeness. Additionally, this research extends the concept of boundary spanning by identifying two subtypes: proactive and reactive boundary spanning.
Keywords: creativity, innovation, team
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