Finally — a Field Experiment!

21 January 2011 at 2:47 pm 1 comment

| Lasse Lien |

Field experiments represent a killer combination of a causal design and external validity — the best of both the classical (laboratory) experiment and the natural experiment. Unfortunately, field experiments in strategy,  management, organizational economics, etc. are often prohibitively costly, morally questionable, or both. But sometimes a field experiment is feasible, and when it is, it tends to stand out as particularly interesting.

This paper illustrates this point quite well, IMHO. The paper is a field experiment on the not entirely trivial question: Does Management Matter?

Entry filed under: - Lien -, Management Theory, Methods/Methodology/Theory of Science, Papers.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Rafe  |  23 January 2011 at 9:24 pm

    A wonderful opportunity for fieldwork has been missed in New South Wales (Australia) over the last 40 or 50 years when the system of 280 more or less autonomous public hospitals (run by their own boards) was sort of centralised to a Hospitals Commission (leaving the boads intact) and then merged with Public Health and then decentralised to a number of Regions with decisions of different kinds made by the Head Office, the Area commands and the individual hospital boards.

    For some time the hospitals retained their boards but the bigger game plan was to wipe them out and transfer the administration to the regions (and to the office of the Minister for Health – work that out). Just for fun the number of Regions (renamed Areas) was adjusted up and down, depending which party was in power (scope for fieldwork there, also work for people who supply stationery with letterheads).

    Lately the Commonwealth decided that the states were making a bad fist of running the hospitals, so they have made deal with the states to have smaller Areas, moving back towards local something or other (but not autonomy) because they report to Canberra (where the money comes from). This transition is under way at present, generating organizational charts that resemble the spoofs on Obamacare.

    I give up, I can’t stand it any more.

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