Linking schema theory to innovation processes. What are the effects of exposing individuals to schema (in)consistency to quantity and quality of creative ideas in online ideation contests?

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Innovations begin with venture ideas that enable the creation of future goods and services in the absence of current markets for the customer unmet needs. Collaborative practices that involve customers in search and development of creative ideas can be viewed as a core element of innovations. A way to elicit the creative ideas of people is to involve them in a controlled environment of an ideation contest. The aim of this study was to investigate the link between schema theory and innovation processes. To this purpose an experiment was performed to test if exposure of participating subjects to inconsistent schemata leads to a higher number and creative quality of ideas generated than exposure to consistent schemata, or no exposure to schemata. The results of the experiment did not agree with the findings of past research on the effects of schema inconsistency. Our hypotheses that exposure of participating subjects in an ideation contest to inconsistent schemata leads to a higher number and creative quality of ideas than exposure to consistent, or no exposure to schemata, cannot be accepted. According to past research, the view that a heightened need for (non specific) closure may inhibit the generation of innovative and creative ideas may not be valid under all circumstances. Therefore, the need for closure of the participating subjects to the experiment was assessed. However, our hypothesis that the relationship between the exposure of participating subjects to schema (in)consistency and idea generation is moderated by the need for closure of the participants cannot be accepted.
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen