OB Brownbag - Kenneth Younge, EPFL
Motivating Innovation and the Willingness to Persist
Thursday 5 December 2019 (12h00 - 13h00) - Extranef - 126
The talk will be in two parts:
1) Motivating Innovation: The Effect of Loss Aversion on the Willingness to Persist
We investigate the willingness of individuals to persist at exploration in the face of failure. Prior research suggests that the organization’s “tolerance for failure” may motivate greater exploration by the individual. Little is known, however, about how individuals persist at exploration in an uncertain environment when confronted by prolonged periods of negative feedback. To examine this question, we design a two-dimensional maze game and run a series of randomized experiments with human subjects in the game. Our results suggest that individuals explore more when they are reminded of the incremental cost of their actions, a result that extends prior research on loss aversion and prospect theory to environments characterized by model uncertainty. In addition, we run simulations based on a model of reinforcement learning, that extend beyond two-period models of decision-making to account for repeated behavior in longer-running, dynamic contexts.
Accepted at the Review of Economics and Statistics (paper attached)
2) Motivating Innovation: The Effect of Social Pressure and Organization on the Willingness to Persist
In follow-on work, we investigate additional effects on the Willingness to Persist, such as the effect of social pressure, and the effect of hierarchical organization. The second part of the talk will discuss progress in these areas.