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The sequence effect in panel decisions: evidence from the evaluation of research and development projects

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Title: The sequence effect in panel decisions: evidence from the evaluation of research and development projects
Authors: Criscuolo, P
Dahlander, L
Grohsjean, T
Salter, A
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: We examine how groups fall prey to the sequence effect when they make choices based on informed assessments of complex situations, for example, when evaluating research and development (R&D) projects. The core argument is that the temporal sequence of selection matters because projects that appear in a sequence following a funded project are themselves less likely to receive funding. Building on the idea that selecting R&D projects is a demanding process that drains participants’ mental and emotional resources, we further theorize the moderating effect of the influence of the timing of the panel meeting on the sequence effect. We test these conjectures using a randomization in sequence order from several rounds of R&D project selection at a leading professional service firm. We find robust support for the existence of a sequence effect in R&D as well as for the moderating effect. We further explore different explanations for the sequence effect and how it passes from the individual to the panel. These findings have broader implications for the literature on innovation and search in general and on group decision making for R&D, specifically, as they suggest that a previously overlooked dimension affects selection outcomes.
Issue Date: 1-Jul-2021
Date of Acceptance: 4-Jul-2020
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10044/1/85958
DOI: 10.1287/orsc.2020.1413
ISSN: 1047-7039
Publisher: Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS)
Start Page: 909
End Page: 1148
Journal / Book Title: Organization Science
Volume: 32
Issue: 4
Copyright Statement: © 2021, The Author(s). This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. You are free to copy, distribute, transmit and adapt this work, but you must attribute this work as “Organization Science. Copyright © 2021 The Author(s). https://doi.org/10.1287/orsc.2020.1413, used under a Creative Commons Attribution License: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.”
Keywords: Social Sciences
Business & Economics
sequence effect
law of small numbers
gambler's fallacy
contrast effect
quota model
R&D project selection
decision making
professional service firm
1503 Business and Management
1505 Marketing
Business & Management
Publication Status: Published
Open Access location: https://pubsonline.informs.org/doi/10.1287/orsc.2020.1413
Article Number: orsc.2020.1413
Online Publication Date: 2021-01-15
Appears in Collections:Imperial College Business School

This item is licensed under a Creative Commons License Creative Commons