User Creativity In Crowdsourcing Community: The Effects of Intrinsic Motivation, Creative Self-Efficacy and Task Characteristics

Project: Research

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Whether an organization can truly derive benefits from the adoption of crowdsourcing relies on the extent to which participants in the community achieve a high level of creative performance. Understanding what leads to high creativity in crowdsourcing communities is an important concern to information system researchers and has energized increasing research efforts. In particular, previous studies have consistently found the positive effects of intrinsic motivation on creativity. However, these studies have primarily conceptualized intrinsic motivation as a single component construct, i.e. enjoyment-based hedonic motive. Yet, intrinsic motivation has another component, a values-based normative component that encourages individuals to conduct prosocial behavior. As such, our understanding of the role played by intrinsic motivation in affecting creative performance in crowdsourcing communities remains incomplete. Also, with a focus on investigating the effects of motivation, prior open innovation research has generally ignored the effects of creative self-efficacy, a critical self-view that one has the ability to generate creative outcomes. It is well established that intrinsic motivation is necessary, but not sufficient, for producing creative ideas. In particular, individuals’ creative self-efficacy formulated in the process of performing tasks in a community would affect their engagement and intrinsic motivation, thereby influencing creative performance. Thus, little is known about how creative self-efficacy and intrinsic motivation jointly affect creativity in crowdsourcing communities. Further, there is a lack of research examining the role played by task design. It is well documented that task characteristics would affect individuals’ intrinsic motivation and creative self-efficacy, which in turn affect creative performance. As a consequence, practitioners are left with little guidance on how to better design tasks so that task characteristics would facilitate participants to generate creative solutions in crowdsourcing. To address the shortfalls in the literature, our proposed study aims to reveal (1) how intrinsic motivation (i.e., hedonic and normative intrinsic motivation) and creative self-efficacy affect participants’ creative performance, (2) how different components of task characteristics would affect intrinsic motivation and creative self-efficacy differently, and (3) how the effects of task characteristics are contingent upon in individual’s growth need strength. Drawing upon self-regulation theories, we have developed a research model on the interrelationships between these major constructs. More specifically, we propose that intrinsic motivation and creative self-efficacy would both positively affect participants’ perception of their creative performance. Also, we contend that creative self-efficacy would enhance intrinsic motivation, thereby indirectly affecting creative performance. In addition, we argue that components of task characteristics (e.g., task variety, identity, significance, autonomy and feedback) would have positive influence on intrinsic hedonic motivation: task significance and feedback would influence intrinsic normative motivation, and task autonomy, identity and feedback would affect creative self-efficacy. Finally, we postulate that growth need strength, as a personal trait, would strengthen the effects of task characteristics on intrinsic motivation and creative self-efficacy. To test the research model, we will conduct a longitudinal study by collecting survey data over a six-month period using a sample frame of approximately 2000 participants in crowdsourcing communities. The results obtained will have significant theoretical and practical implications. It will contribute to the crowdsourcing literature by providing insights into the mechanisms through which task design affects participants’ creative performance. Also, this study may be among the first to investigate how intrinsic motivation and creative self-efficacy jointly affect creativity in crowdsourcing communities. Further, the exploration of the interaction between personal (i.e., growth need strength) and contextual (i.e., task characteristics) factors in the community would add to much needed research on understanding mechanisms that facilitate individuals’ generation of innovative ideas in open environment. This study will also contribute to the practice by offering guidelines on how to better design tasks, encourage individuals to be engaged in the crowdsourcing community and provide creative solutions for the organization.


Project number9042253
Grant typeGRF
Effective start/end date1/01/161/07/16

    Research areas

  • Crowdsourcing,intrinsic motivation,creative self-efficacy,User Creativity,