Journal of Management Information Systems

Volume 29 Number 2 2012 pp. 141-172

Theory and Analysis of Company-Sponsored Value Co-Creation

Chen, Li, Marsden, James R, and Zhang, Zhongju

ABSTRACT: In today's dynamic business environment, companies are under tremendous pressure to become more innovative and maintain a steady stream of ideas that can lead to new and improved products and services. Companies have begun to explore the possibility of capturing consumers' "collective intelligence" by establishing firm-sponsored online brainstorming sites where individuals can share their ideas and offer comments on the ideas contributed by others. We term these sites "Company-Sponsored Online Co-Creation Brainstorming" (COCB). The value of this open and voluntary co-creation depends largely on members' contribution levels, the quality of the contributions, and sustained participation. In this paper, utilizing Zwass's taxonomy of co-creation value as a base, we structure a taxonomic framework of COCBs and an accompanying basic model of COCBs. We then present a series of hypotheses concerning the relationships between the model's various factors and specific COCB activities. We validate the model using empirical data collected over two and a half years, starting from the initiation of a pioneering company-sponsored online brainstorming site. Our analyses demonstrate that the level of peer feedback and the responsiveness (speed) of sponsor company feedback have significant influences on both members' contribution levels and duration of active participation. The sponsoring company's feedback, however, seems to influence only the quality of member's contribution level. On the practical side, the outcomes suggest that sponsoring companies should develop efficient processes for reviewing and responding to submitted ideas. Regarding theory, our findings provide an initial piece of contextualized research that offers implications for theory building in the COCB context, most notably the identification of key relationships between feedback (both peer and company) and participant activity levels and duration of participation.

Key words and phrases: brainstorming, co-creation, contribution quality, sustained participation