Management Science & Engineering

Henning Piezunka

Benevolent Rejection
2012 CSS Fellowship

With the advent of the Internet, organizations gain access to large and diverse audiences that greatly expand the pool of outsiders it interacts with and the ideas it sources from them. This has activated a latent, unresolved issue: the organization cannot act on most of these ideas. Inevitably, organizations either ignore or reject most of the ideas. This leads to my research question: How do users react to being rejected. Organizations need a way to "benevolently reject" suggestions they receive - that is, a way to reject the suggestion without rejecting its author and endangering the relationship. To examine this question I have built a dataset that includes 24,067 organizations' efforts to collect user 702,729 suggestions between November 2007 and June 2011. My research contributes to a better understanding of the effect rejections have on the evolution of the dyadic tie between the organization and the outside actor.

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