Naturalistic Field Experiments: Running Experiments in Organizations


This case demonstrates the use of a naturalistic field experiment during a PhD study to compare three different group processes and see whether they produce significantly different outcomes. Among social psychologists, experimental design is the gold standard for testing causality, yet for those interested in organizations and managerial issues, opportunities to run experiments in organizations are rare. The case will describe the design of the experiment and the choices made about how to define and measure the variables of interest. It will also discuss the practical issues of running an experiment inside an organization, describing some of the issues that arose during the study and the tensions that can arise when employees act as researchers.

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