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Enterprise crowdfunding: Supporting openness in innovation management beyond obtaining ideas

: Feldmann, Niels; Gimpel, Henner; Muller, Michael; Geyer, Werner

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Baldwin, C. ; Harvard Business School, Boston/Mass.:
12th Annual Open and User Innovation Conference 2014. Book of Abstracts : July 28-30, 2014, Boston, USA
Boston/Mass., 2014
Annual Open and User Innovation Conference <12, 2014, Boston/Mass.>
Abstract, Elektronische Publikation
Fraunhofer FIT ()

Enterprise crowdfunding is the application of the crowdfunding concept to idea management inside an enterprise. Employees are encouraged to submit ideas to an internal crowdfunding platform and they are endowed with corporate budget to spend on the ideas submitted by fellow employees. Ideas that reach their self-set funding limit receive the respective funds and are implemented without further management approval or veto. Enterprise crowdfunding provides an opportunity for employees to gain awareness for their ideas, and for companies to harness employees' collective intelligence for idea assessment and connect decision-making with direct funding of selected ideas.
We accompany the technology and consulting company IBM in conducting a series of successive trials of enterprise crowdfunding in different corporate departments and geographies. In a mixed method research program, we build a theory of enterprise crowdfunding grounded in qualitative interviews and analyze empirical data on user characteristics, behavior, and outcomes. The interviews focus on the objectives for and expectations in enterprise crowdfunding, behavior of participants, and outcomes, as well as various structural parameters affecting the acceptance, use, and effectiveness of enterprise crowdfunding. The analysis of empirical data gained from the IBM trials allows us to reflect on the findings of our qualitative study.
So far, enterprise crowdfunding has been implemented by providing employees opportunities to propose ideas and invest corporate money in them. Hence, it has been an approach of internal openness. Opening up the mechanism to external idea proposers, or external investors or even both would make it a true open innovation mechanism. Hence, while focusing on Enterprise Crowdfunding, we believe our research will also provide stimuli for analyzing other open innovation approaches, in particular those addressing phases beyond obtaining ideas.
During the poster session at the workshop we will present early findings from the first 20 interviews with IBM executives organizing the enterprise crowdfunding trial, employees participating in them, as well as researchers from related fields (e.g. prediction markets or open innovation). We will also provide insights into the analysis of data from enterprise crowdfunding trials conducted at IBM.