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Field Experiments in Organizations: Design and Statistical Analysis

This course introduces students to experimentation in organizations and businesses. This topic has increased considerably in importance since researchers and firms have learned to generate data in more scientific ways. Key to this area of inquiry is the insight that correlation does not necessarily imply causality. In this course, students learn how to use experiments to establish causal effects, and how to be appropriately skeptical of findings from observational data.
Course code
MGMT506
Course type
MSc Course
Weekly Hours
2,5
ECTS
5
Term
HS 2020
Language
Englisch
Lecturers
Juniorprof. Dr. Rainer Michael Rilke
Please note that exchange students obtain a higher number of credits in the BSc-program at WHU than listed here. For further information please contact directly the International Relations Office.

The method of field experiments has increased considerably in importance as researchers and firms have learned to think about how to generate data in ways that are more scientific and developments in information technology have facilitated the development of better data gathering.

Key to this area of inquiry is the insight that correlation does not necessarily imply causality. In this course, we learn how to use experiments to establish causal effects, and how to be appropriately skeptical of findings from observational data.

Our goals for each student in the course are:

  • Become skeptical about claims of causality. When faced with a piece of research on observational data, you should be able to tell stories that illustrate possible flaws in the conclusions.
  • Understand why experimentation (generating one’s own data by doing deliberate interventions) solves the basic causal-inference problem.
  • Understand how to quantify uncertainty, using confidence intervals and basic non-parametric tests.
  • Learn about the state of the art research on field experiments in organizations.
  • Design, implement and analyze your own field experiment.
Date Time
Tuesday, 08.09.2020 15:30 - 17:00
Tuesday, 15.09.2020 13:45 - 15:15
Tuesday, 15.09.2020 15:30 - 20:30
Wednesday, 07.10.2020 13:45 - 18:45
Friday, 09.10.2020 11:30 - 15:15
Tuesday, 13.10.2020 15:30 - 20:30
Thursday, 15.10.2020 15:30 - 18:45
Alan S. Gerber, Field Experiments - Design, Analysis, and Interpretation
A reading list of papers will be provided at the beginning of the course.
The performance assessment of the students consists of two parts. On the one hand, students will work on a summary (presentation or short essay) of an already conducted field experiment. On the other hand, students of this course will design, conduct and analyse their own field experiment. The summary will be done individually and the field experiment will be done in groups.
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