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Ideas competitions are thought to be a promising tool for crowdsourcing and open innovation processes, especially for business-to-business software companies. Active participation of potential lead users is the key to success of such competitions. Yet a look at existing ideas competitions in the software field leads to the conclusion that many information  technology (IT)–based ideas competitions fail to meet requirements through which active participation is established.

A study conducted by Michael Huber and his colleagues from TUM, investigates how to systematically design and implement an IT-based ideas competition with activation-enabling functionalities for enterprise resource planning software. They proceeded to evaluate the outcomes of the various proposed design measures and found that participation can be supported using a two-step model. The components of the model support incentives and motives of users. Incentives and motives of the users then support the process of activation and consequently participation throughout the ideas competition. This contributes to the successful implementation and maintenance of the ideas competition, thereby providing support for the development of promising innovative ideas. The study also highlighted further activation-supporting components that are yet to be implemented and points out rich possibilities for future research in this area.

For further details of the regarding the study and its findings, refer to the following paper:

Leimeister, Jan Marco und Huber, Michael und Bretschneider, Ulrich und Krcmar, Helmut (2009): "Leveraging Crowdsourcing: Activation-Supporting Components for IT-Based Ideas Competition." In: Journal of Management Information Systems, Vol. 26 (2009), Nr. 1, pp. 197 - 224.