Creativity Contests: An Experimental Investigation of Eliciting Employee Creativity

Journal of Accounting Research, Forthcoming

59 Pages Posted: 4 Dec 2022

See all articles by Jasmijn C. Bol

Jasmijn C. Bol

Tulane University - A.B. Freeman School of Business

Lisa LaViers

A.B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane

Jason Sandvik

Eller College of Management, University of Arizona

Date Written: October 21, 2022

Abstract

Running a contest can help managers elicit creative ideas from employees by providing employees with incentives to develop and share ideas that will help the firm. Little is known, however, about how contest design affects the outcomes of subjectively evaluated creativity-based contests. We conduct an experiment to investigate the impact of two contest design choices, the job role of the contest’s evaluator and the number of prizes that participants compete for, on employee participation behavior. We also examine how these contest design choices impact the creativity of the submitted ideas. We find that using a peer of the employees as an evaluator increases the number of ideas shared, but it does not impact the number of unique participants who enter the contest. In addition, we find that using peer evaluators leads to an increase in the creativity of the ideas. We find that awarding more prizes to participants does not increase overall participation, but it does increase the number of ideas shared by employees from under-represented demographics. Awarding more prizes, however, reduces the creativity of the ideas. Together these results show that contest design choices have an important impact on employee creative idea-sharing and that managers should carefully consider how to tailor contests to fit their firms’ needs.

Keywords: Creativity, Contests, Tournaments, Management Control System Design, Subjective Evaluation

JEL Classification: J33, M40, M41, M52, O31

Suggested Citation

Bol, Jasmijn C. and LaViers, Lisa and Sandvik, Jason, Creativity Contests: An Experimental Investigation of Eliciting Employee Creativity (October 21, 2022). Journal of Accounting Research, Forthcoming , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4255095

Jasmijn C. Bol

Tulane University - A.B. Freeman School of Business ( email )

7 McAlister Drive
New Orleans, LA 70118
United States

Lisa LaViers (Contact Author)

A.B. Freeman School of Business at Tulane ( email )

7 McAlister Dr.
New Orleans, LA 70118
United States
8656172944 (Phone)

Jason Sandvik

Eller College of Management, University of Arizona ( email )

McClelland Hall
P.O. Box 210108
Tucson, AZ 85721-0108
United States

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