Incentives in Open Innovation Challenges or Why Our Participants Take Part

Open innovation challenges utilize various incentive packages to motivate participants and enhance their contributions. Here are some key insights from recent studies on this topic:

  1. Strategic Incentive Systems: Effective open innovation requires well-designed strategic incentive systems that overcome mental barriers like the 'not invented here' syndrome. This syndrome refers to a form of organizational resistance to ideas or products that originate outside of the company, often leading to the rejection of superior external innovations. Organizations that successfully overcome this bias often use immaterial incentives, such as enhancing task content, which provide long-term motivation over traditional material incentives. Enhancing task content involves making the work itself more engaging and meaningful, often by aligning it with the personal and professional growth goals of the employees, thereby fostering a more innovative and open mindset.
  2. Dual Incentives in Crowdsourcing: In innovation challenges, dual incentives, combining knowledge integration instructions with explicit incentives for sharing different types of knowledge, have been shown to improve the outcomes of crowdsourced innovation.
  3. Activity-Related Incentives: For non-monetary motivators, activity-related incentives, such as achievements and some power-related incentives, are crucial for motivating participants in open innovation communities. These incentives correlate positively with optimal motivation and the flow experience of participants.
  4. Impact of Openness on Incentive Structures: Open innovation can change how incentives influence innovation outcomes. In some contexts, openness may reduce the need for certain types of incentives, particularly long-term incentives, which could otherwise enhance innovation efficiency.
  5. Management Challenges and Innovation Policies: Proper management and clear policies are critical in open innovation to ensure that incentive structures align with the goals of innovation. Challenges include aligning organizational goals with innovation outcomes and ensuring that the incentives motivate all involved parties adequately.


  • Schneckenberg, D. (2013). Strategic Incentive Systems For Open Innovation. View Source.
  • Malhotra, A., & Majchrzak, A. (2014). Managing Crowds in Innovation Challenges. View Source.
  • Schattke, K., Seeliger, J., Schiepe-Tiska, A., & Kehr, H. (2012). Activity-Related Incentives as Motivators in Open Innovation Communities. View Source.
  • Fu, X. (2012). How does openness affect the importance of incentives for innovation. View Source.
  • Bogers, M., Chesbrough, H., & Moedas, C. (2018). Open Innovation: Research, Practices, and Policies. View Source.

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