Designing for Crowdfunding Co-creation
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Crowdfunding is now established as a valid alternative to conventional methods of financing for startups. Unfortunately, to date, research has not investigated how backers can be encouraged to support entrepreneurs beyond funding. The aim of this study is to design and evaluate certain design elements for reward-based crowdfunding platforms that can engage backers in co-creational activities for product development. The study uses a design science research (DSR) approach and the theoretical concept of psychological ownership to inform a new design and then experimentally test that design. The results suggest that the derived artifacts positively influence co-creational activities in crowdfunding and that feelings of psychological ownership play an important mediating role. The contribution of this research is threefold. First, this paper extends crowdfunding’s application potential from merely a method of financing to a method of value creation with customers for product development. Second, the study advances DSR by applying a new DSR approach that shows whether a design performs as hypothesized by theory. Third, this research allows the exploration of backers’ individual behavior as opposed to their collective behavior.