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How organizations―including Google, StubHub, Airbnb, and Facebook―learn from experiments in a data-driven world.
Have you logged into Facebook recently? Searched for something on Google? Chosen a movie on Netflix? If so, you've probably been an unwitting participant in a variety of experiments―also known as randomized controlled trials―designed to test the impact of different online experiences. Once an esoteric tool for academic research, the randomized controlled trial has gone mainstream. No tech company worth its salt (or its share price) would dare make major changes to its platform without first running experiments to understand how they would influence user behavior. In this book, Michael Luca and Max Bazerman explain the importance of experiments for decision making in a data-driven world.
Luca and Bazerman describe the central role experiments play in the tech sector, drawing lessons and best practices from the experiences of such companies as StubHub, Alibaba, and Uber. Successful experiments can save companies money―eBay, for example, discovered how to cut $50 million from its yearly advertising budget―or bring to light something previously ignored, as when Airbnb was forced to confront rampant discrimination by its hosts. Moving beyond tech, Luca and Bazerman consider experimenting for the social good―different ways that govenments are using experiments to influence or “nudge” behavior ranging from voter apathy to school absenteeism. Experiments, they argue, are part of any leader's toolkit. With this book, readers can become part of “the experimental revolution.”
Max H. Bazerman is the Jesse Isidor Straus Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. Max's research focuses on decision making, negotiation, behavioral insights, and ethics. He is the author or co-author of eleven books (including The Power of Experiments [with Mile Luca], 2020, The Power of Noticing, the eighth edition of Judgment in Managerial Decision Making [with Don A. Moore], 2013, Blind Spots [with Ann Tenbrunsel], 2011, and the forthcoming Better, Not Perfect, and over 200 research articles and chapters.
His former doctoral students have accepted positions at leading business schools throughout the United States, including the Kellogg School at Northwestern, the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, the Fuqua School at Duke, the Johnson School at Cornell, Carnegie-Mellon University, Stanford University, the University of Chicago, Notre Dame, Columbia, and the Harvard Business School.
His awards include an honorary doctorate from the University of London (London Business School), the Life Achievement Award from the Aspen Institute, being named as Ethisphere's 100 Most Influential in Business Ethics, a Daily Kos Hero from the Bush Era for going public about how the Bush Administration corrupted the RICO Tobacco trial, and both the Distinguished Scholar Award, the Distinguished Educator Award, the Organizational Behavior Division’s Life Achievement Award from the Academy of Management. Max's consulting, teaching, and lecturing includes work in 30 countries. Details are available at www.people.hbs.edu/mbazerman.
Michael Luca is the Lee J. Styslinger III Associate Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. Professor Luca teaches From Data to Decisions: The Role of Experiments, an elective course about the rise of experiments in organizations, and the role that they play in decision making. He also teaches an elective course in which student teams develop interventions based in behavioral economics for government and company clients, called Behavioral Insights.
Professor Luca's current research and advisory work focuses on the design of online platforms, and on the ways in which data from platforms can inform managerial and policy decisions. His work has been published in academic journals including Management Science, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, American Economic Review: Papers and Proceeding, the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, and the American Economic Journal: Microeconomics. He has also written about behavioral economics and online platforms for media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, and Slate.
His research has been written about in a variety of media outlets including The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, New Yorker, Atlantic, Economist, Washington Post, Financial Times, Guardian, Huffington Post, Harvard Business Review, Time, USA Today, Boston Globe, LA Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Fortune, Mashable, GQ, Wired, and Vox.
Professor Luca serves on the board of directors at the National Association of Business Economics, the academic advisory board of the Behavioural Insights Team, and the advisory board of the CNBC Technology Executive Council, and is a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research.