Field Experiments in Organizations

Dov Eden’s review of field experiments in organizations is out at Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior (link).

Abstract

Field experimentation, although rare, is the sterling-gold standard of orga-
nizational research methods. It yields the best internally valid and general-
izable findings compared to more fallible methods. Reviewers in many psy-
chology specialties, including organizational psychology, synthesize largely
nonexperimental research, warn of causal ambiguity, and call for experi-
mental replication. These calls go mostly unheeded. Practical application
is a raison d’ˆetre for much organizational research. With the emergence of
evidence-based management, field experiments enable us to deliver the most
actionable tools to practitioners. This review explicates the role of experi-
mental control and randomization and enumerates some of the factors that
mitigate field experimentation. It describes, instantiates, and evaluates true
field experiments, quasi-experiments, quasi-fields, combo designs, and tri-
angulation. It also provides practical tips for overcoming deterrents to field
experimentation. The review ends describing the merging of new technolo-
gies with classical experimental design and prophesying the bright future of
organizational field experimentation.