Nudging digital entrepreneurs: the influence of the Google Play Store top developer award on technological innovation

Kuk, G. ORCID: 0000-0002-1288-3635, 2023. Nudging digital entrepreneurs: the influence of the Google Play Store top developer award on technological innovation. International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior and Research. ISSN 1355-2554

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Purpose: We study how an online mobile app store uses an award signal to encourage entrepreneurs to engage in technological innovation. We depart from signaling theory and derive hypotheses to examine the underlying feedback and re-signaling mechanism on entrepreneurial behavior and technological innovation.

Design/methodology/approach: The study collated multi-sourced and longitudinal data of 349 top mobile app entrepreneurs on the UK Google Play Store. Using the information on release date and permission technologies, their apps were compared with the nearest rivals’ prior apps to measure functionality novelty and explorative behavior. We then tested our hypotheses using accelerated failure time parametric models.

Findings: Our study extends the literature on signaling by showing that: (1) the top developer award signal served to nudge entrepreneurs to improve the functionality novelty of their apps and those who succeeded were less likely to switch to another product category, (2) the award signal created a window of opportunity for non-award entrepreneurs to respond and those who released new apps around the midpoint of a normal app development cycle significantly improved the likelihood of winning the award in a subsequent round of award-giving, and (3) the effect of functionality novelty on winning the award was more pronounced when non-award entrepreneurs pursued more explorative than exploitative behavior in app development.

Originality: The results offer novel insights into an understudied area, specifically the influence of online award signals on motivating entrepreneurs to pursue technological innovation. The research also highlights the crucial role played by the app store as an intermediary signaler.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior and Research
Creators: Kuk, G.
Publisher: Emerald
Date: 17 October 2023
ISSN: 1355-2554
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Jonathan Gallacher
Date Added: 18 Sep 2023 12:31
Last Modified: 10 Nov 2023 11:54

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