Company-Sponsored Online Co-Creation and Financial Incentives: The Impact of Intrinsic Motivation on Participation Intention

Siddharth Baswani, Anthony M. Townsend, and Andy Luse
International Journal of Electronic Commerce,
Volume 25, Number 4, 2021, pp. 394-415.


Participation in sponsored online co-creation is said to be driven primarily by an individual’s intrinsic motivation, which in turn may be crowded-out, or undermined by financial incentives. The effect of financial incentives, specifically in a company-sponsored online co-creation brainstorming (COCB) context, however, remains unexplored. In this study, we use LEGO Ideas, a prominent COCB, as an exemplar and employ a between-subjects randomized experimental design to examine the effect of different types of financial incentives on intrinsic motivation’s impact on participation intention in a COCB context, either directly or indirectly through personal innovativeness in the domain of information technology. Our findings suggest that focused financial incentives, representing situations where financial rewards are administered exclusively on the basis of excellent performance, offer the best outcome for predicting participation intention. These findings contribute to our knowledge of the use of financial incentives in sponsored online co-creation generally, and specifically in COCBs.