Are you interested in hosting a randomized field experiment in your firm or organisation? Faculty and PhD students at INSEAD are currently looking for partners on the following research projects: 

Research question / problem addressed: Organisations often create policies to help steer employees towards making ethical choices. For example, many companies require employees to disclose conflicts-of-interest to clients to avoid biased service and potential legal liability. The success of these policies largely depends on getting employees’ buy-in. If employees do not believe in their company’s ethics policies, these policies are unlikely to be followed. How should companies explain and promote ethics policies to employees in a way that gets their buy-in?

Type of partner organisation: No particular selection criteria.

Sample (size, etc.): We will look to survey individual employees. The minimal sample size is 200. 

Expected benefit to partner organisation: The partner organisation will gain knowledge on how to optimally communicate with its employees on matters related to ethics, and will understand how to maximize the likelihood that employees internalize and follow its ethics policies.

Abstract: Research in psychology suggests that people have an asymmetric self-concept when it comes to ethics: They believe they are highly unlikely to do unethical things, but do not believe they are especially likely to do ethical things. This asymmetry suggests that framing ethics policies negatively is unlikely to garner support for them. For example, if a company explains a conflict-of-interest disclosure policy in terms of preventing unethical conduct, employees might see it as unnecessary because they are unlikely to believe they would ever do unethical things. In contrast, if a company instead explains the exact same policy in terms of encouraging ethical conduct, employees may find this framing more persuasive because they accept the notion that they could use help in being more ethical.

Researcher and contact: Nadav Klein, Assistant Professor of Organizational Behaviour ([email protected])

Research question/problem addressed: This study investigates how employees’ feeling of authenticity help boost their trust and organisational commitment.

Type of partner organisation: Any

Sample (size, etc.):  300+ full time employees; larger samples preferred

Expected benefit to partner organisation: This experiment would help organisations better understand how employees’ self-perception and feelings can affect workplace attitude and behavior. Specifically, it could also help organisations design practices that encourage feelings of authenticity and improve organisational commitment. 

Abstract: Assistant Professor Li Huang is studying whether employees’ feeling of authenticity help boost their trust and organisational commitment. The goal of this experiment would be to encourage some employees to briefly reflect on a personal situation where they felt true to themselves through a 5-minute recall exercise. The outcome measures in this study would be trust and organisational commitment. This experiment would help organisations better understand how employees’ self-perception and feelings can affect workplace attitude and behavior. Specifically, it could also help organisations design practices that encourage feelings of authenticity and improve organisational commitment.

Researcher and contact: Li Huang, Assistant Professor of Organisational Behaviour, INSEAD. ([email protected])

For further information, please click here

Research question/problem addressed: We are interested in investigating how gender affects the way entrepreneurs search for financial capital, in particular by building their network of mentors, advisors, and potential investors. We are specifically interested in the impact of information about the target contact’s gender, and the potential moderating effect of the entrepreneur’s gender. Also of interest is the impact of an investor’s investment strategy, namely whether they engage in “gender lens investing” (a strategy whereby founding team gender or gender diversity is included as an investment criteria).

Type of partner organization: We are ideally looking for a partner organization located in Europe, or North America, that caters to a broad population of early-stage founders. Possibilities include incubators, accelerators, startup conference organizers, platforms that connect startups to investors/advisors, pitch competition organizers, etc. Preferred languages would be those spoken by the research team, namely English, French, or Finnish. 

Sample (size, etc.): The sample would consist of early-stage entrepreneurs (ideally at pre-seed or seed stage). We expect that we will require at least 300 participants, at least 35% of whom should be female. The sample size also depends, however, on the distribution of male and female investors/contacts.

Expected benefit to partner organisation: Organizations involved in promoting and nurturing entrepreneurial talent have, in recent years, been looking for ways to improve outcomes for female entrepreneurs and help close the gender gap in entrepreneurial financing. By improving our understanding of how male and female entrepreneurs build their networks, we hope to be able to provide the partner organization with concrete tools they can use to better accompany their startup founders.

Abstract: The gender gap in entrepreneurial financing has been well documented, with less than 3% of venture capital financing going to female CEOs. One explanation for this gap is that male and female entrepreneurs build significantly different networks, leading to differential access to the resources needed to raise investment capital. In this project, we wish to investigate how the gender of a potential contact influences entrepreneurs’ interest in engaging with that contact. 

Researchers and contact: Kaisa Snellman, Assistant Professor of Organisational Behaviour ([email protected]) and Isabelle Solal, PhD candidate in Organisational Behaviour ([email protected])


Research question/problem addressed: Improving diversity in organizations

Type of partner organization: Any

Sample (size, etc.): 150+ individuals

Expected benefit to partner organization: Improving the promotion and growth prospects of women inside firms.

Abstract: Women and minorities have a tough time breaking the glass ceiling inside organizations. We have a big ongoing project aiming to understand, using field experiments, what practices work better inside firms to promote growth and retention of those employees. As a part of this larger agenda we are interested in partnering with firms who would be interested in testing the effect of one ore more ways in which it is thought one can improve the promotion and growth prospects of women inside firms. Some possible programs include:
- Mentoring/Sponsorship programs
- Diversity training programs
- Use of networks
- Role models
- Building women’s confidence
We are also open to testing other types of programs with those broader goals.

Researcher and contact: Maria Guadalupe, Associate Professor of Economics and Political Science, Academic Director of the INSEAD RCT Lab, Chair, Economics and Political Science Area ([email protected])

Research question / problem addressed: How could group decisions be made more effective?

Type of partner organization: Any

Sample (size, etc.): 500+ decisions per year

Expected benefit to partner organization: Making group decisions more effective by mitigating the risks of group biases.

Abstract: The proposed study will analyse how group decisions could be structured to avoid decision biases, which could result in inferior outcomes. The control group makes group decision as before; the treatment group implements interventions to mitigate group biases. The results are tracked and analysed. Depending on the research site, outcome variables may be reduced credit default rates, higher revenues from new products, improvement of patient outcomes. The expected benefit include making group decisions more effective by mitigating the risks of group biases.

Researcher and contact: Enrico Diecidue, Professor, Decision Sciences, INSEAD. ([email protected])

Research question/problem addressed: With which incumbents should entrants to a new network be connected to maximise their individual performance and retention?

Type of partner organisation: Private or public sector organisation recruiting a large number of employees and interested to optimise its onboarding process

Sample (size, etc.): 600 recruits over a period of 2 years; recruits should be relative homogenous (for example, university graduates).

Expected benefit to partner organisation: Optimization of onboarding process, resulting in higher employee performance and retention.

Abstract: Newcomers to an existing social network face the challenge to get connected to the right alters in a timely manner. Such connections are important for them to gain access to social resources and to facilitate their informal competence development that could enhance their individual performance and social outcomes.  This research studies how network interventions could promote the formation of effective network structures of newcomers when they enter an existing social network. This project will develop a set of network interventions and test their impact on individual performance and social outcomes using a randomized field experiment.  We plan to use a sample of young recruits, such as university graduates, during their on-boarding process to a private sector organisation.  Findings from this research are expected to be relevant to various stakeholders:  For example, to recruits to promote their career advancement, to organisations to enhance the effectiveness of their recruitment processes, and to policy makers interested in the promotion of youth employment.

Researchers and contact: Miguel Lobo, Associate Professor of Decision Sciences, Director of the INSEAD Middle East Campus ([email protected]) and Florian Schloderer, Lecturer, INSEAD ([email protected])

For further information, please click here



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