Recruiting Valuable Participants in Online Idea Generation: The Role of Brief Instructions

Nadia Steils, Salwa Hanine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Recruiting qualified participants becomes challenging in crowdsourcing initiatives that seek to attract a diverse crowd based upon an open call for participation online. Brief instructions often constitute the first contact point
between the company and potential contributors. This research investigates how the design of brief instructions intervenes in the recruitment of people with highly creative profiles. The results from a survey and an experimental research indicate a triple-interaction effect between individuals' level of creativity and the design of instructions (number of instructions and provision of an expected example). These findings may encourage crowdsourcing organizers to provide sufficient instructions to attract people with highly creative profiles, especially when using prospective briefs. Moreover, while constraining briefs reduces the intention to participate for individuals who are reward-oriented, greater instructional constraints do not reduce the intention to participate and emotional engagement for intrinsically motivated contributors. The study results contribute to the marketing literature by understanding the underlying psychological role of brief instructions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)14-25
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Business Research
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019


  • recruiting
  • idea generation
  • psychological
  • participation
  • marketing
  • emotion
  • experimental research
  • creativity
  • reward
  • interaction effects
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Participation
  • Brief instructions
  • Creative contests
  • Participants’ profile


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