Should enterprises run multiple innovation contests in parallel?

April 26, 2023

Answer: Yes, if they aim for disruptive innovation.

Photo: iStock

New research published in Operations Research by Gizem Korpeoglu and others shows that when enterprises aim for disruptive innovation, they benefit from solvers participating in multiple contests. The study also shows that enterprises’ average profit increases when solvers participate in multiple contests even when some enterprises aim for incremental innovation, as long as others aim for disruptive innovation. Furthermore, there is an optimal number of contests that maximizes an enterprise’s profit, and this number increases with solvers’ uncertainty. This finding may explain why many enterprises run multiple contests in practice and it suggests running a larger number of contests when the majority of these enterprises aim for disruptive innovation.

Gizem’s paper “parallel innovation contests” was awarded the paper of the month by INFORMS TIMES (the entrepreneurship and innovation community of INFORMS). The working paper version of the study also received the runner-up award in INFORMS TIMES Best Working Paper Competition.

Link to SSRN page