Lower Connectivity Is Better: The Effects Of Network Structure On Customer Innovativeness In Interdependent Ideation Tasks

Stephen, Andrew T., Zubcsek, Peter P. and Goldenberg, Jacob (2016) Lower Connectivity Is Better: The Effects Of Network Structure On Customer Innovativeness In Interdependent Ideation Tasks. Journal of Marketing Research.

Abstract

This paper examines the popular marketing practice of interdependent ideation where firms solicit ideas from customers through online platforms that allow for customers to be exposed to or “inspired” by other customers' ideas when generating their own. Although being exposed to others' ideas means that customers are “connected” (at least implicitly) in a communication network that facilities flows of ideas, the effect of network structure or interconnectivity on individual innovativeness has not been considered in this context. The authors examine how, when, and why network structure, specifically the clustering or interconnectivity of one's “inspirations” (other customers), affects the innovativeness of individual customers' product/service ideas in ideation tasks. Across five experiments it is shown that (i) higher clustering/interconnectivity negatively affects the innovativeness of an individual's ideas, (ii) this occurs because idea inspirations are more likely to be similar or redundant when the sources of those inspirations (i.e., other customers to which one is connected) are clustered, (iii) higher redundancy among idea used as inspirations is what causes lower innovativeness, and (iv) this effect is attenuated when customers do not rely on other customers' ideas for inspiration.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Markets, marketing
Subject(s): Markets
Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2015 14:14
Last Modified: 03 Jun 2016 15:40
Funders: N/A
URI: http://eureka.sbs.ox.ac.uk/id/eprint/5344

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