Lars Frederiksen, Aarhus University
Building on a unique data set including more than 1.5 million participants involved in a large design contest platform, we investigate how firm rejection of ideators’ ideas has wider social effects for the idea supporters’ subsequent behavior. Platform participants who support an idea by providing comments on it as well as voting for it have invested cognitively and emotionally in this idea – they might even have identified with the idea. Thus a stronghold of support is built for an idea among many platform participants. After such idea support a subsequent rejection decision by the platform holding firm may therefore have a social ripple effect on the behavior of platform participants, and not only on the ideator. Idea supporters feel that their support and effort has been rejected, too. We study this social ripple effect of rejection of the ideas of others. We find that the ripple effect of rejection on firm-hosted platforms exists, affecting the subsequent behavior of community members in a negative way – that is, leads to less platform activity. We also find that participants with lower status and short tenure on the platform tend to become more affected by a firm rejection decision by reacting more negatively to it than compared to their platform peers. Our findings have important implications for platform growth strategies: if firm rejections harm the growth layer of the platforms, then how can they thrive? We discuss the implications of our findings for research and practice.
Cass Business School, 106 Bunhill Row
106 Bunhill Row, London EC1Y 8TZ, UK
Lars Frederiksen specializes in the management of innovation and technology. In particular, he studies innovation strategies, entrepreneurship, digital transformation, knowledge creation and search, platforms and crowdfunding, innovation in online communities, and innovation in project-based organizations. Lars Frederiksen is Professor at Department of Management, BSS, Aarhus University, Denmark. At the department, he serves as Head of Talent and Research and deputy head of department. He was awarded his PhD from Copenhagen Business School, Denmark, and worked hereafter at Imperial College Business School, London. Lars applies various methods in this research, from social network analysis, text mining and multiple regression/hazard models to qualitative interviews. Lars has developed survey-based and web-based data sets as well as worked on public register data. Empirically, Lars focuses on industries such as, software, infrastructure, engineering consulting, and entertainment (i.e. music and film). His work appears in journals, such as, Organization Science, Academy of Management Journal, Strategic Management Journal, Research Policy, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice, and others.