Department of Management

Moderating Ideation in Web-Enabled Ideation Systems

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DOI

  • Michela Beretta
  • Jennie Björk, KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden
  • Mats Magnusson, KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden

While organizations increasingly implement web-enabled ideation systems to access the collective intelligence of their distributed employees, recent studies show that most attempts to use these systems underperform or fail. This article draws on a qualitative case study of the Ericsson system “Idea Boxes” to explore a novel approach to manage ideation based on the use of the moderator role. The aim of this study is to understand to what extent and how the introduction of moderators can contribute to a better management of web-enabled ideation systems and to overcome the shortcomings commonly associated with their use. The contribution of this study to innovation literature is threefold. First, it develops a conceptual framework that gives insights into the practices implemented by moderators to manage ideation, namely: (1) formulating an ideation strategy, (2) combining means for community building, and (3) formalizing the ideation process. It focuses on unfolding their key complementarities. Second, this study relates these practices to the shortcomings of web-enabled ideation systems with respect to the sourcing, filtering, and handling of employees' ideas. It discusses how the identified practices can help organizations address these shortcomings by stimulating sustained employee participation, increasing the quality and fit of the ideas generated, and ensuring their efficient selection and integration. Third, this article compares moderators to other innovation roles discussed in the new product development literature with the aim of broadening the future research agenda toward an investigation of emerging organizational roles having limited formal authority to manage innovation. The findings of this study provide valuable guidelines to managers to implement more sophisticated approaches for a better management of the ideation process through web-enabled ideation tools.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Product Innovation Management
Volume35
Issue3
Pages (from-to)389-409
Number of pages21
ISSN0737-6782
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018

    Research areas

  • ABSORPTIVE-CAPACITY, CREATIVITY, DISTANT SEARCH, FRONT-END, IDEAS, MANAGEMENT, OPEN INNOVATION, OPEN SOURCE SOFTWARE, PERSPECTIVE, PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT

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