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Field Experiments in Strategy Research


  • Chatterji, Aaron K.

    (Duke University)

  • Findley, Michael

    (University of Texas at Austin)

  • Jensen, Nathan M.

    (George Washington University)

  • Meier, Stephan

    (Columbia University)

  • Nielson, Daniel

    (Brigham Young University)


Strategy research often aims to empirically establish a causal relationship between an independent variable and a dependent variable such as firm performance. For many important strategy research questions, however, traditional empirical techniques are not sufficient to establish causal effects with high confidence. We propose that field experiments have potential to be used more widely in strategy research, leveraging methodological innovations from other disciplines to address persistent puzzles in the literature. We first review the advantages and disadvantages of using field experiments to answer questions in strategy. We define two types of experiments, "strategy field experiments" and "process field experiments," and present an original example of each variety. The first study explores the liability of foreignness and the second study tests theories regarding corporate culture.

Suggested Citation

  • Chatterji, Aaron K. & Findley, Michael & Jensen, Nathan M. & Meier, Stephan & Nielson, Daniel, 2014. "Field Experiments in Strategy Research," IZA Discussion Papers 8705, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp8705

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    17. Jane W. Lu & Hao Ma & Xuanli Xie, 2022. "Foreignness research in international business: Major streams and future directions," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan;Academy of International Business, vol. 53(3), pages 449-480, April.
    18. Meissner, Philip & Poensgen, Christian & Wulf, Torsten, 2021. "How hot cognition can lead us astray: The effect of anger on strategic decision making," European Management Journal, Elsevier, vol. 39(4), pages 434-444.
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    20. Keding, Christoph & Meissner, Philip, 2021. "Managerial overreliance on AI-augmented decision-making processes: How the use of AI-based advisory systems shapes choice behavior in R&D investment decisions," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 171(C).
    21. Heinz, Matthias & Khashabi, Pooyan & Zubanov, Nick & Kretschmer, Tobias & Friebel, Guido, 2017. "Heterogeneous Effects of Performance Pay with Market Competition: Evidence from a Randomized Field Experiment," CEPR Discussion Papers 12474, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    22. Matthew Lee & Arzi Adbi & Jasjit Singh, 2020. "Categorical cognition and outcome efficiency in impact investing decisions," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 41(1), pages 86-107, January.
    23. Leigh McAlister, 2016. "Rigor versus method imperialism," Journal of the Academy of Marketing Science, Springer, vol. 44(5), pages 565-567, September.

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    More about this item


    field experiments; research methods; culture; liability of foreignness; foreign direct investment; strategy research; corporate culture;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D03 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Behavioral Microeconomics: Underlying Principles
    • L10 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - General

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