Date of Award

2013

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Graduate Group

Operations & Information Management

First Advisor

Karl T. Ulrich

Abstract

Innovation tournaments have a long history of driving progress, especially in the fields of engineering and design, and are once again gaining popularity thanks to advances in technology. Stripped to its essence, an innovation tournament is a process that uncovers exceptionally good opportunities by considering many raw opportunities at the outset and selecting the best to survive. Both the host of the tournament (the administrator) and the participants (the agents) face many decisions throughout this process. In the following papers, we answer a series of questions about innovation tournaments, addressing the specific managerial challenges of how to provide in-process feedback, how to moderate entry visibility, and how to understand and affect leaps in innovation. We report on two sets of field experiments using web-based platforms for graphic design contests and a unique data set from an online platform dedicated to data prediction tournaments. The answers to these questions contribute new understanding to the literature on innovation tournaments and offer managers guidance on improving outcomes.

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