Good to Be Novel? Understanding How Idea Feasibility Affects Idea Adoption Decision Making in Crowdsourcing

Kimmy Wa Chan, Stella Yiyan Li, John Jianjun Zhu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Soliciting novel ideas from the crowd is a paradigm shift for innovation that gains increasing attention from researchers and practitioners. However, studies examining the relationship between the novelty of crowdsourced ideas and firms' idea adoption decisions are surprisingly rare. This research adopts the path-of-least-resistance (POLR) theory as a new theoretical angle to examine the role of idea feasibility as a key heuristic cue mediating the effect of idea novelty on adoption decisions. We further explore factors that may amplify or mitigate this mediation. Using data collected from a laboratory experiment and a firm-sponsored crowdsourcing community, we reveal that firms tend to follow the POLR by using idea feasibility as meta-information to evaluate novel ideas in their idea adoption decisions. However, this tendency depends on external stimuli and constraints, such that the mediation of idea feasibility exists only when idea favorability from the crowd is low or when an ideator's prior ideation participation is high. Our supplementary study further offers preliminary insights on the extension of our proposed effects to the ultimate success of adopted ideas. These findings illuminate a better understanding of firms' idea adoption decisions and suggest ways to manage idea crowdsourcing effectively for new product/service development and improvements.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)52-68
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Interactive Marketing
StatePublished - Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Idea adoption
  • Idea favorability
  • Idea feasibility
  • Idea novelty
  • Ideation participation
  • Path of least resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Marketing


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