Idea screening in engineering design using employee-driven wisdom of the crowds

Balder Onarheim, Bo T. Christensen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review

Abstract

The paper investigates the question of screening ideas in the 'fuzzy front end' of engineering design, examining the validity of employee voting schemes and related biases. After an employee-driven innovation project at a major producer of disposable medical equipment, 99 ideas were to be screened for further development. Based on the concept of 'wisdom of the crowds', all ideas were individually rated by a broad selection of employees, and their choices of ideas and idea categories compared to those of a small team of senior marketers. The study also tested for two biases: visual complexity and endowment effect/ownership of ideas. The study shows that the crowd wisdom of employees significantly correlates with the preferences of the marketing team: overall, in top 12 selected ideas and in choice of idea categories. This match increases when including only the ratings of the most experienced employees. The experienced employees also proved to be less affected by visual complexity in the ideas presented. The endowment effect was potent in that every employee proved to be more likely to select their own ideas over others, but this effect disappeared when aggregating across the crowd of employees. Copyright © 2002-2012 The Design Society. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 18th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 11) : Impacting Society through Engineering Design
Volume7 Human Behaviour in Design
PublisherDesign Society
Publication date2011
Pages265-274
ISBN (Print)978-1-904670-27-8
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes
Event18th International Conference on Engineering Design : Impacting Society Through Engineering Design - Copenhagen, Denmark
Duration: 15 Aug 201118 Aug 2011
Conference number: 18
http://www.iced11.org/

Conference

Conference18th International Conference on Engineering Design : Impacting Society Through Engineering Design
Number18
CountryDenmark
CityCopenhagen
Period15/08/201118/08/2011
Internet address

Cite this

Onarheim, B., & Christensen, B. T. (2011). Idea screening in engineering design using employee-driven wisdom of the crowds. In Proceedings of the 18th International Conference on Engineering Design (ICED 11): Impacting Society through Engineering Design (Vol. 7 Human Behaviour in Design, pp. 265-274). Design Society.