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A growing number of firms are using crowdsourcing platforms to actively solicit the skills of external entities to help them solve innovation-related problems. Despite its increasing popularity, crowdsourcing has produced mixed success, because few external experts provide helpful solutions. The current research examines this issue by exploring why some external solvers are more successful than others. Grounded in dual-processing theory, this study combines survey and archival data to assess the impact of creative versus deliberate problem-solving styles on solving success. The results indicate that both styles can be effective, but their relative success depends on the amount of time a solver invests in a solution and his or her degree of contextual familiarity with the problem. Specifically, creative (deliberate) styles are more effective under conditions of high (low) contextual familiarity and shorter (longer) time investments. When solvers employ both styles, overall problem-solving success declines.
Data source: survey