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Improving open innovation: challenges for managing communication and creative ideation.

1. Introduction

Open innovation is one of the most frequently discussed terms in scientific management literature during the last decade. Being a relatively novel term, it's meaning, importance, and application are often misunderstood and interpreted differently across industries. Chesbrough's original opinion that "Firms can and should use external ideas as well as internal ideas, and internal and external paths to the market, as the firms look to advance their technology" (Chesbrough, 2003, p. xxiv) has been interpreted in many ways, resulting in corporations developing overly closed approaches as well as unnecessarily open approaches to innovation. While the field of open and disruptive innovation brings many new opportunities and methods to innovate, it also incites new debates and discussions in the scientific fields. The main concept lies in acquiring knowledge from external sources; which, implies that some of the main concerns both scholars and practitioners face are the role and the importance of the various sources of ideas for innovation; knowing how to collect, catalogue, sift through, and identify potentially fruitful ideas that a company can then implement or produce. These concerns are always multidimensional, and require a complex set of skills in order to manage effectively; it is not unlikely that corporations may hire more than one person to achieve their goals from these endeavours, and they therefore create teams with different competencies in order to harness creative potentials. The overly-open innovation models present the risk of further exacerbating resource demand due to the excessively large number of ideas from their myriad contributors. Furthermore, since many companies also practice outbound open innovation, opening up their innovation process to knowledge exploitation by the market and other companies, it is important to appropriately design communication practices in order to recycle previous innovation and/or idea campaign results. Lastly, combining outside-in and inside-out processes requires integration of inbound and outbound open innovation (Gassmann, Enkel, & Chesbrough, 2010).

Thus, by following the proposed chapter structure this paper aims to systematically identify and explicate the communication practices and creative outcomes of companies that regularly strive to innovate: firstly, previous research and theory will be summarized to depict the current state of knowledge in this field; secondly, known issues related to open innovation research will be analysed; thirdly, new trends that are changing the emerging paths of research will be described; and lastly, future challenges will be identified, while proposing several directions for engineering managers to pursue in their open innovation endeavours.

2. Current State of Knowledge

In the field of collaborative, distributed innovation, there are two main streams that shape what we know and use today. Von Hippel's research have established the importance of user innovation (Von Hippel, 1978), while also addressing the importance of innovation dissemination. This stream of literature emphasizes users' creative potentials that are used by the company to design new products: in order to achieve this, the company must actively communicate with its users, gathering everything from concepts, through elaborated ideas and product designs, to working prototypes. On the other end of the spectrum, Chesbrough's (2003) open innovation approach (using the term 'open innovation' in its more narrow meaning) relates to companies co-operating across firm boundaries in order to create and commercialize innovations. This stream of literature emphasizes the connections between different companies, emphasizing high degrees of trust and quality communication in order to share innovations with others. These two streams theoretically cover a major portion of the open innovation literature, with a large number of scientific papers published, showing that a company can utilize both the users and the competition to develop its own innovation pipeline in addition to helping others or their industry at-large. Lately, additional approaches have further diversified this field of research by focusing on some other aspects of innovation: cumulative innovation, where sharing/shared conditions are emphasized by attending to the legal and social contexts (Murray & O'Mahony, 2007);open community innovation, where the focus is on a type of organized and independent association of actors (i.e., agents)(West & Lakhani, 2008; West & O'mahony, 2008)or social production and co-creation, with social aspects as the main focus (Benkler, 2006; Bogers, Afuah & Bastian, 2010). All of these perspectives on open, distributed innovation concentrate on different aspects and, although they can sometimes be complementing, they often offer conflicting predictions for some phenomena and congruent predictions for others (Bogers & West, 2012). Therefore, managerial practice should carefully define what type of innovation it requires in order to fully utilize the selected approach; while some companies actively solicit innovations from external subjects by using available toolkits, campaigns or platforms, other companies strive to identify and capture the personal value created a priori by external subjects.

Since this chapter primarily observes idea stimulation, idea creation and idea sharing/capturing as steps in the companies' innovation efforts, it is evident that both the personal and the organizational factors should be addressed. Since interests of the external stakeholders and the focal company can often be misaligned (West & Gallagher, 2006), it is a big challenge to properly engage, motivate, and steer the stakeholders to give inputs that create value for the company and meets its innovation needs. Companies have both the pecuniary and non-pecuniary methods to motivate external stakeholders, such as profit sharing, fixed-amount prizes, stock sharing, special discounts or offers. Non-pecuniary methods may include direct and indirect benefits of sharing knowledge with the community, and providing ideas that will result in a product or service that meets users' own needs(Von Hippel, 2007).

There is also a good number of techniques to stimulate useful ideas, including those that employ the individual, group or hybrid approaches. Various studies have shown that ideation stimulation might be achieved by verbal or other cognitive stimuli (Knoll & Horton, 2011; Liikkanen & Perttula, 2010; Misawa & Fujita, 2009), by ideas of others (Leggett Dugosh et al., 2000; Nijstad, Stroebe, & Lodewijkx, 2002), by cognitive training (Dahl & Moreau, 2002; Iyer et al., 2009; Marakas & Elam, 1997), or even using special software (MacCrimmon & Wagner, 1994; Rangaswamy & Lilien, 1997; Verhaegen et al., 2011). We also know that some sorts of hybrid ideation bring superior results, being able to use collaborative and stimulating synergies, while eliminating the frequent pitfalls of the classic group-ideation techniques, such as free-riding or production-blocking (Aiken, Sloan, Paolillo, & Motiwalla, 1997; Diehl & Stroebe, 1987). Finally, recent research has shown that social aspects have a crucial role in good ideation results, advocating for communication with people with diverse interests or knowledge (Bjork, 2012; Gemmell, Boland, & Kolb, 2012; Sosa, 2011).

Currently, there are myriad methods for capturing the creative potential of internal and external stakeholders, employees, partners, and clients. In order to yield positive innovation results, communication between a corporate champion and the lead ideator needs to be carefully designed to allow for a win-win outcome. A large number of tools specially designed for a company's intranet or the internet are available to organize, incentivize, collect, and manage ideas needed for corporate innovation. These tools have different success rates in achieving the goals that were set, which is most often moderated by a company's innovation approach and policy, rather than the tool efficacy itself. often, the management of these innovative efforts by the company is complex, a recent study (Mendonca, Povoa, & oliveira, 2012) has shown that best Idea Management practices can be conceptualized by four dimensions, using both internal and external creative sources: collaborative work environment, employees' participation, communication networks and external sources of ideas; furthermore, it was shown that these organizational routines have an impact on the propensity to develop innovative products and services and enhance the existing ones.

It is evident that all of these complex processes ask for some sort of formalized management system, in order to have expected results, usually via some sort of idea management system. The problem that is present here is how to capture various ideas submitted by the employees and the public? One recent theoretical model (Sandstrom & Bjork, 2010) proposes a dual idea management system that is able to deal with both continuous and discontinuous innovation, regardless of the idea source. By making a distinction between two types of ideas, treating them with different processes and evaluation criteria, this dual system might be able to utilize a wide array of submitted ideas. This is an important point of discussion, because as other recent additions to literature have shown, institutional processes and requirements-based engineering does not yield innovation, but prescriptive outcomes that yield incremental improvements at best (Grieves, 2014).

However, capturing creative ideas is often not enough to innovate on them as they can be underdeveloped, so they need some kind of elaboration (validation and augmenting) to develop the concept; successful elaboration of an idea by the creator and a company partner requires a specific fit of complementary skills from both sides, so the elaboration is sometimes delegated to some sort of public forum or community. one theoretical model (Hellmann & Perotti, 2011) stresses the importance of free idea circulation, predicting a symbiotic relationship between firms and markets based on rich communication channels necessary to develop ideas. Nonetheless, any resulting idea that is subsequently selected for development and is thusly pushed into the new product pipeline requires specific and systematic idea evaluation and evidence gathering processes be completed; should sufficient evidence fail to be gathered, the idea will likely be cut at subsequent stage gates or reviews (Glassman & Walton, 2014). The development of key performance indicators and metrics should therefore be completed prior to any open innovation initiative, with an eye towards key metrics that would come into play over the product's entire lifecycle (Walton, Tomovic, & Grieves, 2013).

3. Conceptual and Methodological Issues

Little, if any, scientific advancement can be gained without a common core set of well-defined terminology related to a field of inquiry. This is true not only in science and engineering, but in any field of study where thought leaders desire to have an impact in their field via meaningful contributions. Unfortunately, if terminology is not well defined, then contributions may not convey the appropriate meaning, and thus lose their potential impact. Thus, while key innovation terms are widely used, they are frequently misunderstood or used with different intended meanings. As mentioned in the previous section, the basic concept of open innovation has more than one interpretation: Dahlander and Gann (2010), after reviewing 150 open innovation papers, conclude that researchers tend to use different definitions, and also to focus on different aspects in this field. Resultantly, the methods for consistently measuring the outcomes and efficacy of innovation efforts (especially open innovation) are still up for debate and lacking in consensus among innovation thought leaders. Moreover, other additional aspects are also hard to reliably assess: motivation and readiness to share ideas, idea conversion, idea quality, fuzzy front end properties, key performance indicators, and product lifecycle management metrics, etc.

For example, motivation for idea creation and idea sharing is a complex phenomenon that we are yet to fully understand. There is a significant lack of theory and theoretical perspectives from which the 'user-innovation literature' draws, especially in the management literature (Bogers et al., 2010): proposed explanations such as expected benefits, information stickiness, intrinsic benefits, career concerns or user's knowledge and expertise fail to add up to a coherent theoretical explanation. Some anecdotal research results concentrate on internal, subjective motivators (Daniels et al., 2011; Jung, Lee, & Karsten, 2011; Obschonka, Silbereisen, & Schmitt-Rodermund, 2012), while others may point to external, financial factors (Toubia, 2006); some research even suggest that creative thinking can and should be taught, and reinforced through positive feedback channels, rather than just motivated (Daley, 2005).

Companies often report that they communicate only with limited number of external subjects when searching for creative ideas. Regarding the end users, companies may face different types of consumers that are able to ideate: average consumers that are high in numbers and tend to use products and services with their basic functions; technical experts (lead users) that are for some reason very informed about the underlying product technology and tend to use more product features, even customizing some of them; creative consumers that may not possess the advanced knowledge about the product's underlying technology, but still tend to think of new uses or extensions for it. Berthon (Berthon et al., 2007, p. 41) described a "creative consumer" as an idea source that is different than a "lead user": a creative consumer works with all types of offerings, not just with novel or enhanced products; he sometimes faces needs that will not become general; he will often only indirectly or symbolically benefit from his innovation; companies do not find, screen and select him through a formal process. This means that there is a big potential for creative ideas from ordinary users, which is untapped if a company seeks only advanced users, or if it passively receives ideas that highly proactive users want to share. Distinction between regular users, lead users and creative users is very important when deciding who to motivate for ideation, and how to deal with their continued interaction (Berthon et al., 2007). Some types of innovation efforts may be undermined by consumers' inputs, because they tend to have "a very limited frame of reference" (Ulwick, 2002, p. 92); in that case, it is advised that the company should ask for their desired outcomes, rather than users' suggestions and ideas for innovations. Some companies might take the opposite approach, to extremely include their customers in the innovation process, asking them to steer the product development vianear-constant market probing (Gassmann, Sandmeier, & Wecht, 2006). This is also dependent on the type of customers the company is seeking: it is recorded that an average customer tends to generate incremental ideas, while lead users tend to create more novel and radical ideas (Lilien, Morrison, Searls, Sonnack, & Hippel, 2002).

Stimulating creative thinking and ideation has problems of its own. Since idea generation is basically a creative process based on individual capabilities, or at best, synergistic outcomes that are nearly impossible to predict (e.g., the unknown and intangible benefits of including a diverse set of ideators in a particular campaign--e.g., an anthropologist working on a new toothbrush idea), companies and scholars often believe that the management should not interact directly in any way (Sowrey, 1990), limiting themselves only to setting the necessary conditions and stimulating contexts for ideation to take place. Indeed, there are numerous research papers that neglect the ideation stimulation: when researching idea management as a part of innovation activities, it is not uncommon to neglect the importance of controlled ideation, although it is perceived as a critical part of the innovation process (Cooper, 2008): it is implicitly assumed that ideas are spontaneously and uncontrollably created and that it is company's task to collect them or find them in the most efficient and efficacious manner possible (Brem & Voigt, 2007; Cooper, 2008; Thom & Etienne, 2000). Similarly, Bessant et al. (2005) further refines the concept of "managing the idea generation process" by discussing the need to, "enable systematic and high involvement in innovation", thusly ignoring the stimulation step. Furthermore, in a review of open innovation papers, West and Bogers (West & Bogers, 2011, p. 8) parse the step of "obtaining external innovations" into several steps, where "enabling" and "incentivizing" are limited only to motivational rewards and innovation contests, without stimulating ideation directly. In contrast to this, there is numerous evidence that companies can successfully stimulate ideation in multiple methods. The way companies describe or present their problems, and the context in which the problem is being solved can be a stimulation in its own regard (Magnusson, 2009; Piller & Walcher, 2006), for instance, social stimuli may improve customer ideation (Alam, 2003; Chalkiti & Sigala, 2008), while external stimuli may also help in idea creation (Dodds, Smith, & Ward, 2002; Knoll & Horton, 2011; Rangaswamy & Lilien, 1997).

The measurement of and methods for measuring inputs and outputs of distributed innovation are also widely debated. It is an open question as whether to observe idea quantity (Stevens & Burley, 1997), idea quality (Girotra, Terwiesch, & Ulrich, 2010), failure rate of the invention-innovation path (Kusiak, 2009), adoption of innovation culture within the company (Balsano et al., 2008; Chiaroni, Chiesa, & Frattini, 2010) or even the ability to create and maintain a sponsored open source community (West & O'mahony, 2008). Since innovation is a complex phenomenon, this question probably cannot be easily modelled and answered uniformly. Companies around the world have different contexts in which they operate, differentiation strategies them employ, and therefore a unique balance of many factors should be made for innovation to take its proper course. Ideation metrics are complex in and of themselves; Shah (Shah, Smith, & Vargas-Hernandez, 2003) proposes quantity, quality, novelty and variety; Nelson (Nelson, Wilson, Rosen, & Yen, 2009) calculates a single metric that combines novelty and variety; some believe that idea quantity eventually results in idea quality (Baruah & Paulus, 2008; Karni & Shalev, 2004), while others state the relationships are complex or not of big impact (MacCrimmon & Wagner, 1994; Rietzschel, Nijstad, & Stroebe, 2006). Additionally, perspectives differ when observing the idea screening steps: we do not have an uniform answer regarding the questions "who should assess the submitted ideas?" (Glassman & Walton, 2014); "are internal managers most capable of that?" (Schulze, Indulska, Geiger, & Korthaus, 2012), or "should other stakeholders be involved, including previous consumers" (Toubia & Flores, 2007)? And, for each reviewer, which evidence is most suitable for consideration (Glassman & Walton, 2014)?

As a function of overall methodology then, companies who engage in purposeful innovation programs must consider the methods by which they plan to thoroughly and appropriately gather evidence for/against certain types of ideas, and how best to ensure the depth, breadth, and variety of desired ideas appropriately enter the full development pipeline. A short discussion is thusly warranted on the cautions and best practices of evidentiary and evaluative processes for innovation programs; such practices are even more vital for open innovation programs, where the diversity and plethora of ideas might often expectantly exceed the capacity of reviewers or gatekeepers to effectively review ideas. This section on idea evaluation is not meant to serve as an exhaustive review of the literature or set of best practices, but to shed light on commonly overlooked steps in the process; see for a further discussion of these points.

Ideas entering an open innovation pipeline, whether from a digital front end, or via a multitude of other methods, e.g., focus groups, interviews, observations, drop boxes, competitions, etc., eventually need to be screened. A first screen should be setup, which has an entirely different set of guidelines, criteria, methods, and intended outcomes than mid or final screens.

Given that initial ideas submitted may be very loosely defined or poorly developed, if too stringent of criteria are set for a first screen, what would otherwise potentially be a valuable, disruptive idea, might be unintentionally screened out of the process. Metrics should therefore be setup prior to an initial screen to require reviewers to evaluate ideas against a baseline set of criteria. These criteria should be developed interdisciplinarily across business units/functions, and then summarily distributed back across the same organization for agreement and adherence. once criteria are set, predetermined methods of gathering evidence should commence. The tables 1a and 1b is list of primary methods for evidence gathering and their appropriate outcomes (Glassman & Walton, 2014).

Finally, consideration should be given to the types of screens used for the initial screen vs. subsequent screens as ideas pass through the pipeline of innovation. The table 3 delineates which screening methods are appropriate, or not, given the respective screening function. One should keep in mind that, in addition to the screening methods varying from first to mid, to final, the methods of gathering evidence should also appropriately reflect and fit the screening function and type. Too loose of metrics and methods, and the result is too many and ill-defined, lowvalue producing ideas are accepted into the pipeline, thusly wasting key resources.

Alternatively, too stringent of metrics, especially for an initial screen, and the result is a small set of non-disruptive, incremental ideas that also result in low-value to the organization. Moreover, failing to setup the methods and metrics ahead of time in an interdisciplinary manner results in biased, and myopic metrics or methods that focus on sub-optimized ideas that benefit only one or two departments instead of maximizing overall corporate profits.

4. Emerging Trends

The open innovation paradigm has been growing a trend in the last decade, and still continues to incite new questions. Other new trends continue to shift the research and development focus: from products to services, from amateurs to professionals, from large firms to SMEs, from high-tech companies to simple products, etc.

Technology continues to support these efforts as a means to capture ideation activities, to facilitate collaboration, and to track the social networking activity as a measure of idea interest. Large organizations can fund technology to easily manage the security requirements for opening up the innovation efforts to involve external collaborators, such as customers, vendors, partners, and the public. The largest challenges with open innovation are not technology-based, but instead require companies to pre-emptively determine how to address the question of who owns the intellectual property, how will ideas be categorized, screened, and ultimately developed. Most often times, corporations employ draconian policies that require any idea-submitter to relinquish all rights to their idea, and while it may be true that a company is ultimately underwriting all the costs associated with research, development, and marketing, an unintended consequence of these policies is that these idea-collaborators may only submit ideas that are less plausible, or that are otherwise too expensive for smaller firms to pursue; should the latter not be true, then the idea submitter may have simply pursued the idea themself. Additionally, corporations are finding that it is no longer necessary, nor sufficient to build their own, proprietary software for idea collaboration, but instead are required to integrate their idea-generation and capture methods with social networking sites such as Yammer, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, etc.

Furthermore, corporations must understand and categorically predict the types and variety of responses from customers. For instance, challenges can be drawn from the general to the specific, e.g. instead of asking what suitcase ideas a customer might have, ask what colour they are willing to purchase. Every enthusiast of open innovation initially desires to solve the traffic problem in their own city, yet a more appropriate engagement of external stakeholders might be to build relationships between the various associations and their members who might otherwise not be able to collaborate, such as dairy farmers, health care professionals, and occasionally public policy specialists. In innovation circles, it is a well-known idea that industries rarely reinvent themself without the aid of an external party who has not already adopted and accepted standard industry norms. Instead, these external partners and idea-collaborators will challenge industry norms and standard practices, which ultimately yield opportunities for disruptive innovation. oftentimes, internal stakeholders fail to understand value, because they have accepted a prior generation's value-statement. Therefore, just as technology continually enables new and innovative ways to solve a customer's need, how we define that need must also be reconsidered. Innovative companies are constantly redefining value, identifying the value stream, creating systems that flow smoothly, creating a pull-demand for their product, and pursuing perfection until the next time they make a revolutionary change, at which point, the cycle starts over. Companies that fail to understand this cycle will predictably fail to innovate consistently. open innovation thus allows companies to iteratively revisit the market, revalidate their customers, and redefine value.

Unfortunately, another issue with collaborative, open-innovation technology systems is always ensuring ongoing adoption and engagement. Unlike more traditional enterprise-software solutions, such as those for accounts receivable or inventory management, it open innovation requires more than a top-down mandate to spur usage.

Collaborative systems must attract users and then nurture their ongoing engagement, which means companies must issue challenges via the medium(s) with which the end-user is familiar and active, such as social networks, intranets, or email. Moreover, while some idea-contributors may be drawn to submit ideas for global issues, most idea submitters are more likely to submit ideas that have an impact on their life, or that of their friends, or is otherwise likely to yield a significant outcome. Therefore, while companies need to understand that idea-submitters are drawn to the idea campaign due to its significant or potential impact, they are also drawn to the campaign due to the collaborative space provided via the actual mechanics of idea submission process.

5. Future Research and Challenges

Although still relatively new itself, research into the open innovation concept continues to uncover new issues that require attention. For instance, effective patent valuation and trading/licensing of intellectual property, the methods by which small to medium enterprises should manage open innovation, the factors of successful open innovation, the special aspects of open innovation (e.g., innovators who must work with others who are disparately located), are yet to be fully modelled.

other issues include the gamification attributes of social networks and the resultant collaboration. For instance, if there is a prize for the best idea submitted during a 90-day challenge, users will be more likely to submit their idea(s) on day 89 for fear that others will steal or augment their idea and win the prize. This defeats the purpose of collaborative innovation. Instead users should be rewarded for their contributions as well as their ideas.

Social measurements of collaborative activity need to be included among the components of why an idea is promoted or perceived as 'best', else lobbying efforts can occur and poor ideas are artificially promoted, i.e., the best ideas should be promoted because they had the most views, follows, bookmarks, alerts, comments, votes on comments, similar ideas suggested, etc., not just the most votes.

There is software that allows such interaction, and in fact studies have shown that by engaging a multitude of collaborators, ideas are often tweaked through the submission process, whereby an idea submitter must respond to valid criticisms of an idea, ultimately resulting in a more sound and feasible idea. Through this method, not only are idea submitters rewarded, but those who also provide contributions through their feedback and efforts to build on a base idea.

Another challenge that open innovators face in the USA is the new US policy on granting patent awards, which has dramatically changed the requirements; instead of inventors having to prove 'first to invent', the new law grants priority to the inventor who is the 'first to file', which means the rapid production of a patent application is mandatory.

While the US law does give significant financial discounts to small and medium size enterprises who are seeking a patent, there is still a barrier for these entities that may not be able to afford the application process; hence, protecting one's idea from public disclosure is of increasing significance. These issues are not reserved for US corporations or innovators, but in fact, the new US patent law was generated to more appropriately reflect patenting laws in the rest of the developed countries. Thus, innovators should be aware of these issues, including those associate with the decision to pursue a patent in multiple nation-states.

Corporate leaders in the innovation space idealize an eventual environment where users are always reached where they 'live', e.g. social networks, mobile phones, email, etc., with the ideation processing occurring behind the scenes. Keeping these processes behind the scenes may allow for more intellectual property protection, whereas displaying all ideas for the world to see may lend itself to trolls who are looking for great ideas and can thusly seek patent protection without having incurred any of the expense associated with collecting the idea.

Finally, all ideas require a 'downstream' enrichment phase, whereby instead of merely relying on a ranked list of ideas, experts collaboratively vet the very best ideas, gather evidence in support of its development and perform a variety of analyses to determine a go/no-go strategy, such as conducting a SWOT analysis (with a quantitative measures) and a feasibility study on the final and only very best ideas before they go into pre-production. Such efforts would require an assessment of the cost benefits, the strategic fit, market potential and size, and the expected return on investment, etc., in order to make certain an idea is commercially viable. While much research has been done to further explicate the best practices in this field, new and meaningful approached, methods, and metrics are continually demanded by the ever developing field of open innovation.

6. In Place of Conclusion

Instead of writing a standard, scholar-style chapter conclusion, let's use a gardening metaphor that summarizes the best practice. We'll plant seeds, we'll nurture the ideas that grow and eventually we will harvest them. The before-mentioned challenges and future trends are expected to make new paths along these roads.

The first step would be Seeding. This is the process of issuing Challenges or Campaigns. Without this type of focus; if we just open up a "general idea box", we're likely to capture only incremental innovation, or worse, ideas that are truly not useful to anyone. The challenges or seeds are issued. "Please help us and give us your ideas on this topic." We need to reach potential users where they live electronically. Perhaps an email or a twitter feed or a Facebook page has the challenge issued. To make it easy a link or URL is included to take the potential user precisely where the collaborative conversation is taking place.

Contributions must be acknowledged: "Thank you for your idea", "Your idea has received a comment", "Your idea has been merged with similar ideas", Your idea has been promoted", "Your idea is going into production". Administrators or moderators of the technology give guidance, they drive adoption and both build critical mass (for the statistical calculations of large crowds to work) and create momentum and excitement in the project.

The next part of the process is the Feeding part of our Gardening metaphor, or the nurturing of the Collaboration process. Moderators act to inspire contributors perhaps by educating them with information on the challenge topic. The administrators moderate a discussion, which implies they know something about the subject. They forge connections between collaborators who demonstrate similar interests. To keep the process going and to keep contributors enthused, moderators need to communicate success. Besides contribution acknowledgment, this is the strongest motivator to continuing engagement.

The "heavy lifting" part of the process might be thought of as Weeding. This is where administrators encourage the flow of ideas. Moderators look for similar content in order to merge or cluster them. The "best" ideas, whether based on the most votes, or the most points or using a social science algorithm to measure social networking activity are selected and promoted. Subsequently downstream enrichment takes place next. Experts examine these best ideas, testing their premise, looking for flaws in thinking, encouraging others to provide solutions to weaknesses. The opportunity each winning idea presents typically requires a value to be assigned so it can be measured against others.

In the real world, a final review or feasibility study might come next. Before an organization spends money to put this winning idea into production, they'll want to look at every aspect of the idea to be certain it is a good financial decision. Is it cost effective? Is it realistic? Is there a market for this?

The last stage of the gardening process is to Harvest these winning ideas. This is where the administrative team executes the best idea. Here moderators select project candidates, they prepare a final assessment, put the winning ideas into production. Perhaps some of the ideas that did not make it this far are pushed back into an earlier stage of the process because they still have value. The moderators also begin to consider the next challenge or seed. once the audience of contributors has been assembled, a new challenge can keep these people involved in the process for future endeavours.

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Authors' data: Assistant professor, Dr. Vrgovic, P[etar]*; Associate Professor, Dr. Walton, A[bram]**; Shulkin, R[on]***, * Faculty of Technical Sciences, University of Novi Sad, Trg Dositeja Obradovica 7, 21000 Novi Sad, Serbia, ** Florida Institute of Technology; Melbourne, FL 32901, USA, ***CogniStreamer, Inc.; 740 Wildwood, Mundelein, IL 60060, USA,,,

DOI: 10.2507/daaam.scibook.2013.57
Tab. 1. Methods for gathering evidence from primary sources

Source          Largest         Largest         Largest
                Benefit         Limitation      Cost

Interviews      Deep            Not easily      Hourly costs
                questioning     scaled

Focus Groups    Deep            Not easily      Participant
                questioning     scaled          compensation

Online          Large sample    Expertise       Cost to create
surveys         size            to create

Hand-out        Large sample    Limited         Cost to distribute
surveys         size            distribution

Online Polls    Large sample    Limited         Cost to distribute
                size            information

In-person       Broad sample    Limited to      Cost to distribute
Polls                           locations

Focus groups    Deep            Limited by      Participant
                questioning     number of       compensation

Group           Deep            Limited by      Participant
conversations   questioning     number of       compensation

Email           Large sample    Limited         Hourly cost
questioning     size            information     required to
                                                respond and

Phone           Deep            Not scalable    Interviewer
interviews      questioning                     compensation

Web             Deep            Limited by      Moderator
Conferencing    questioning     number of       compensation

Online Polls    Large sample    Limited         Cost to distribute
                size            information

Interactive     Deep            Not easily      Participant
tours           questioning     scaled          compensation

In-person       Deep            Not easily      Participant
Competitions    questioning     scaled          compensation

Online          Large sample    Building        Participant
Competitions    size            awareness       compensation

Tab. 2. Methods for gathering evidence from secondary sources

Source          Largest          Largest            Largest Cost
                Benefit          limitation         Dependency

Employee        Free             Screening          Employee
web             sources of       out less           hourly costs
access          information      valuable

Library         Massive          Their archive      Subscription
access          stores of        and online         costs
                knowledge        access

Paid            Experts knows    Their expertise    Consulting
consultant/     info or has      areas              hourly costs
contractor      access to key

Automatic       Up-to-date       Unscreened         Employee
Alerts          news and         information        hourly costs
(Google         information

Paid            Accurate         Range of           Subscription
databases       up-to-date       statistics         costs
(    statistics       and info

Academic        Expert           Range of           Subscription
journals        accurate         topics             costs

Trade           Expert           Range of           Subscription
journals        accurate         topics             costs

Published       Quickly          Limited depth      Subscription
Magazines       digestible       of info            costs

Search          Large range      Screening out      Employee
engines         of info          low quality        hourly costs

Online          Large range      Out-of-date        Employee
dictionaries    of topics        info               hourly costs

Professional    Focused          Limited            Membership
organization    topics           focus              costs

Patent          Easy to          Limited to         Employee
databases       find info        patented           hourly costs

Marketing/      Quickly          Limitation         Costs per
industry        digestible       of the study       report
research        info

Paid            Quickly          Research           Consulting
marketing       digestible       budget             costs
research        info

Published       Depth of         Focused            Employee cost
books           information      topic              to read

Government      Depth of         Un-analyzed        Employee cost
(census)        information      information        to read

Social          Large            Lots of false      Employee cost
media           sample size      information        to read

Online          Large range      Lots of false      Employee cost
websites        of topics        information        to read
home page)

Tab. 3. Screening methods and their acceptability for use
during the first screen

               Definition                   Acceptability for a
                                            first screen?

Theme          Multiple themes are          YES
Criteria         created, if an idea        This is the most
                 fits into those              acceptable first
                 predetermined themes         screen because employees
                 then it is accepted          can self-check if their
                 (ex. Operational             idea fits a pre-
                 improvements, branding       determined theme.
                 improvements,                Further, it forces
                 revolutionary                employees to find ideas
                 products).                   that fit those themes.
               Used when an organization      Finally it is fair, if
                 wants to focus on a few      an idea matches a theme
                 core areas.                  then it is accepted into
               Downside is if the themes      evaluation.
                 are too broad or too
                 narrow then all ideas
                 or too  few  ideas
                 will  be accepted.
                 Themes have to be
                 updated every few months
                 to align with strategic
Exclusion      Multiple inclusion           YES
or               criteria (10 or more)      Inclusion criteria for a
Inclusionar      should be set. These are     screen are preferable,
y Criteria       general criteria, such       does the idea help
                 as, does it help expand      increase operational
                 the brand, improve           efficiency? If yes then
                 customer relationships,      keeping inclusion
                 etc...                       criteria broad around
               Exclusion criteria should      certain themes is
                 be set carefully and         helpful.
                 only really be around      Exclusion criteria must
                 the values of the            be set carefully as it
                 company. Ex. Does the        is too easy to create
                 idea violate "being          a situation where few
                 honest with the              ideas are eligible to
                 customer"                    be included.
Grouping       Much like themes that        YES
or Tiers         categorize ideas based     Evaluating a group of
                 on similarities, groups      similar ideas is much
                 can be helpful in            easier than dissimilar
                 evaluation as the            ideas.
                 methods used to evaluate   Evaluating top tier ideas
                 them are similar.            in a particular theme
                 Tiers like top ideas,        helps maximize and focus
                 or worst ideas related       scarce resources.
                 to operational
                 improvements can be used
                 very effectively as a
                 first screen.
               However, both grouping and
                 tiers can only be used
                 in a batch evaluation
                 process, not a
                 continuous process.
Idea           A member of the selection    YES
Sponsor          committee can decide to    If the idea has a
                 sponsor an idea. The         department head that is
                 number of ideas they         sponsoring it than it
                 can sponsor can be           will receive the needed
                 limited based on             resource in the
                 fairness or resource         following phases of
                 limitation. This allows      gathering evidence and
                 executives to push ideas     analysis. Sponsored
                 they see valuable though     ideas are an old method
                 the corporation.             of bringing ideas to
Checklist      An individual idea's list    NO
or               of attributes must match   It is too easy to poorly
Threshold        the checklist or             choose an attribute and
                 threshold in order to        create a barrier to
                 pass (for example be         early stage ideas,
                 implemented in 6 months,     especially where
                 profit at least              solutions to problems
                 $500,000, and require no     with the idea have not
                 more than two employees)     been derived.
Personal       A manager, director,         NO
preference       line-employee, or even     This should not be used as
                 expert is used to screen     it is highly biased and
                 an idea based on his or      viewed as unfair for any
                 her own preferences.         type of screen.
                                            Experts are often called
                                              in to perform a first
                                              screen, this can be
                                              helpful if the idea is
                                              accepted, but due to
                                              knowledge they almost
                                              always tend to evaluate
                                              the idea more fully,
                                              finding immediate holes
                                              and issue which should
                                              only be address in the
                                              later stages of
Voting         An individual can vote       NO
                 openly or in a closed      Voting to pass an idea
                 ballot i.e. blind-peer       into evaluation will
                 review. Voting can be        seem unfair to the idea
                 weighted; an individual      submitter Personal
                 can give multiple votes      preference and politics
                 to a given idea, for         play a large role, see
                 example an expert in a       reasons for rejecting
                 technology area could be     that screening method
                 given 20 votes compared      above. More importantly,
                 to a non-expert's 1          it is difficult to
                 vote.                        predict if an idea will
                                              pass a first screen and
                                              thus it may prevent
                                              employees from
                                              submitting ideas
Point          An individual uses a         NO
scoring          scoring sheet to rate a    For the same reasons as
                 particular idea on its       described in voting
                 attributes (e.g., an
                 idea that can be
                 implemented in 6 months
                 gets +5 points, and one
                 that can make more than
                 'X' Dollars get +10
                 points). The points are
                 then added together and
                 the top ideas are ranked
                 ordered by highest point
Rating         An individual rates an       NO
scales           idea on a number of        For the same reasons as
                 preset scales (for           described in voting
                 example an idea can be
                 rated on a 1 to 10 on
                 the implement time, any
                 idea that reaches at 9
                 or 10 is automatically
Ranking or     An individual must rank      NO
Forced           ideas (#1, 2, 3,...)-      For the same reasons as
Ranked           this make the group          described in voting
                 consider minor
                 differences in idea and
                 its characteristics-for
                 force ranking there can
                 only be one idea #1
                 idea, #2 idea, so on..
Delphi         Creates social agreement     NO
Method           on idea selection via an   For the same reasons as
                 iterative process            described in voting
                 whereby a variety of
                 evaluators not on assess
                 the idea, but are
                 allowed to see other
                 evaluators opinions
                 during their review.
Resources      Determine the resources      NO
&                or capabilities required   As the idea has not been
Capability       to develop and implement     evaluated it is not
                 the idea into the final      possible to accurately
                 product, service, or         estimate the resources
                 operation.                   and capabilities
                                              required to develop it,
                                              thus one must use
                                              educated guesses, which
                                              is very much open to
                                              personal bias.
                                            The process for
                                              evaluating ideas finds
                                              solutions for acquiring
                                              resources and
                                              capabilities, and thus
                                              this screen can only be
                                              used as a final
                                              selection method.
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Title Annotation:Chapter 57
Author:Vrgovic, P.; Walton, A.; Shulkin, R.
Publication:DAAAM International Scientific Book
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jan 1, 2013
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