Field Experiments in Organizations

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

Abstract

Field experimentation, although rare, is the sterling-gold standard of organizational research methods. It yields the best internally valid and generalizable findings compared to more fallible methods. Reviewers in many psychology specialties, including organizational psychology, synthesize largely nonexperimental research, warn of causal ambiguity, and call for experimental replication. These calls go mostly unheeded. Practical application is a raison detre 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 experimental 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 triangulation. It also provides practical tips for overcoming deterrents to field experimentation. The review ends describing the merging of new technologies with classical experimental design and prophesying the bright future of organizational field experimentation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)91-122
Number of pages32
JournalAnnual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior
Volume4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017

Keywords

  • experimental control
  • field experiment
  • little data
  • quasi-fields
  • quasification
  • randomization

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