Employee Innovation Using Ideation Contests: Seven-Step Process to Align Strategic Challenges with the Innovation Process


Overview: Researchers and practitioners have shown great interest in crowdsourcing for problem solving. Although scholars have developed several conceptual frameworks that outline the fundamentals of crowdsourcing, few studies provide a detailed process to successfully implement it. Our results from a multiple case study comprising four major Spanish organizations that have implemented ideation contests—Madrid City Hall, Sabadell Bank, Endesa, and Repsol Group—show how internal ideation contests can foster a culture of innovation in which employees can feel accomplished and receive recognition by presenting new ideas and innovative possibilities. We present a seven-step process that describes the key analytical and decision-making components required to lead the design and rollout of internal ideation contests for which the goals are to align strategic challenges with the innovation process.