ABRI seminar Darren Dahl


12:00 - 13:00


Creativity in Open Innovation Contests: How Seeing Others’ Ideas Can Harm or Help Your Creative Performance

Darren Dahl

Amsterdam Business Research Institute

Business and Organisation

Conference / Symposium

Darren Dahl (Sauder School of Business) will present his paper "Creativity in Open Innovation Contests: How Seeing Others’ Ideas Can Harm or Help Your Creative Performance" on May 22, at 12:00 - 13:00 in room HG-05A24.

Please register by sending an email to Lesley Weston (l.a.weston@vu.nl) before May 17th.


Public open innovation contests are becoming an increasingly popular way for firms to generate new ideas. In this article, we investigate how seeing others’ prior ideas influences the creative performance of individuals and how firms can improve idea presentation in contests to get more and better ideas. Based on five experimental studies, we first show that seeing numerous competitive prior ideas will harm creative performance. Exposure to an increasing number of prior ideas competitively presented reduces an individual’s feelings of competence and resulting ability to generate original ideas. Based on these results, we investigate alternative ways to present prior ideas in open innovation contests including categorizing or restricting the display of prior ideas. Presenting prior ideas in categories facilitates their processing and reduces individuals’ difficulty to distinguish their own ideas from the prior ones, increasing felt competence. We optimize the user interface of an open innovation contest platform based on these results and find that both a restricted and categorized interface significantly increase the number and originality of ideas suggested. These results offer viable ways to improve realized innovation outcomes merely by changing how prior ideas are presented in contests.

Short biography

Darren is the Senior Associate Dean, Faculty and Research, and the BC Innovation Council Professor at the Sauder School of Business. He was appointed a 3M National Teaching Fellow in 2013 and is recognized globally for both his research and teaching excellence in marketing strategy, entrepreneurship, and creativity.Darren was ranked as the #1 professor worldwide for marketing research by the American Marketing Association in 2015 and was the runner-up in The Economist magazine’s Business Professor of the Year in 2013. His research has been presented at numerous national and international conferences, and published in various texts and such journals as the Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Marketing, Journal of Consumer Research, Management Science, and Journal of Consumer Psychology. He is currently the editor in chief of the Journal of Consumer Research and serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Marketing Research, Journal of Marketing, and the Journal of Consumer Psychology. He has consulted and organized education programs for a number of non-profit and for-profit organizations such as Cathay Pacific, Procter & Gamble, Xerox, General Electric, Vancouver Public Health, Teekay Shipping, Hagensborg Foods, Lulu Lemon Athletica, Earls Restaurants, BCLC, Agent Provocateur, Daehong Advertising – Korea, and LIC India. Darren received his Ph.D. from the University of British Columbia.