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EMAC 2020 Annual Conference


Creative Contribution, Psychological Ownership, and Willingness to Invest
(A2020-64703)

Published: May 27, 2020

AUTHORS

Joshua Mahaney, Grenoble Ecole de Management; Fiona Schweitzer, Grenoble Ecole de Management; Thomas Gillier, Grenoble Ecole de Management

KEYWORDS

idea contribution; psychological ownership; investment intention

ABSTRACT

Managers are typically the gatekeepers to their employee’s ideas in organizations. Whether managers approve their employee’s ideas, and in what manner, are both integral to understanding how the ideas are further developed and disseminated into the firm. To provide one tactic employees can use to get their manager’s buy-in to their presented idea, we propose the employee asks their manager for a creative contribution to the idea. We show in two experimental lab studies that the manager’s creative contribution to the employee’s idea increases the manager’s psychological ownership for it. Furthermore, if a manager contributes to the idea, the likelihood that manager will both financially invest and believe in the idea’s future success will both increase. In addition, the second study found that a more incomplete idea positively moderated psychological ownership while a perceived lack of contribution of the idea attenuated one’s willingness to invest.