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Journal Article

Blinded by the person: Experimental evidence from idea evaluation

Strategic Management Journal 44 (10): 2443–2459
Linus Dahlander, Arne Thomas, Martin W. Wallin, Rebecka C. Ångström (2023)
Management sciences, decision sciences and quantitative methods
corporate idea evaluation, blinding, biases
Seeking causal evidence on biases in idea evaluation, we conducted a field experiment in a large multinational company with two conditions: (a) blind evaluation, in which managers received no proposer information, and (b) non-blind evaluation, in which they received the proposer’s name, unit, and location. To our surprise—and in contrast to the pre-registered hypotheses—we found no biases against women and proposers from different units and locations, which blinding could ameliorate. Addressing challenges that remained intractable in the field experiment, we conducted an online experiment, which replicated the null findings. A final vignette study showed that people overestimated the magnitude of the biases. The studies suggest that idea evaluation can be less prone to biases than previously assumed and that evaluators separate ideas from proposers.

© 2023 The Authors. Strategic Management Journal published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
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