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Strength in numbers? Understanding the role of gender group composition on knowledge contribution.
Last registered on September 06, 2019

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Strength in numbers? Understanding the role of gender group composition on knowledge contribution.
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0004679
Initial registration date
September 05, 2019
Last updated
September 06, 2019 1:49 PM EDT
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Toronto, Rotman School of Management
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Status
In development
Start date
2019-09-10
End date
2020-03-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
In 2018, women remain underrepresented in senior management positions in key sectors such as the technology and financial investment sectors [Catalyst, 2018]. Although research has identified the impact of stereotypes on women’s and men’s decisions [Gorman, 2005; Coffman, 2014], it remains unclear how firms from these industries can develop an organizational design that helps reduce the strong and persistent impact of stereotypes on individual decisions such as knowledge contribution and persistence in the industry.

This project examines through which mechanism gender group composition—the number of women in a group relative to the number of men—impacts the decision to contribute ideas to a group in the male-typed domain of financial and investment services. Building on insights from the literature on belonging uncertainty and stereotype inoculation [Walton, 2007; Cohen, 2008; Brands and Fernandez-Mateo, 2017; Dasgupta, 2015], I theorize that being in a female-majority group will reduce women’s belonging uncertainty and help foster women’s decision to contribute knowledge in the group.

Recent findings by Chen and Houser [2017] highlight that gender group composition influences the impact of stereotypes on individuals’ knowledge contribution. Using the place-in-line game proposed by Coffman [2014] to measure the willingness to contribute, I will test whether the impact of gender group composition on the decision to contribute knowledge is mediated by a decrease in women's belonging uncertainty.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Baldassari, Daphne. 2019. "Strength in numbers? Understanding the role of gender group composition on knowledge contribution.." AEA RCT Registry. September 06. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.4679-1.0.
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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
The intervention - random assignment of individuals to a three-people group - will occur at each odd round of the group phase. The gender group composition is randomly determined.
Intervention Start Date
2019-09-10
Intervention End Date
2019-12-31
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
The main outcome of interest will be the willingness to contribute knowledge to the group, operationalized by the place chosen within a line [Coffman, 2014]
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
NA
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
The secondary outcome is the belonging uncertainty of participant to the finance industry.
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
NA
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
1. Participants will be recruited from various undergraduate pools at the University of Toronto.
2. Participants will be asked three questions to determine their belonging uncertainty to the finance industry. These questions are adapted from the belonging uncertainty scale by Walton and Cohen (2007).
3. Participants will answer multiple choice questions on finance individually and will be asked to assess their confidence in their answers.
4. Participants will start the group phase, which consist of 10 rounds. At each odd round, they are randomly assigned to a group. They are asked to answer a new set of multiple choice questions on finance and to decide their place in line, which determines their willingness to have their answer be picked as the group’s answer. A random round will be selected where participants are asked again three questions to determine their belonging uncertainty to the finance industry.
Before starting the group phase, they will have an explanation of the place-in-line game and will be asked to answer two comprehension questions. Every decision is incentivized. Within each group, the only information communicated about the group is the gender of the group members.
5. At the end of the experiment, participants will be asked for a final time to answer the three questions related to the belonging uncertainty scale and to fill a post-experiment survey.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Computer based randomization programmed in oTree
Randomization Unit
Individual participant
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
210 participants
Sample size: planned number of observations
210 participants x 30 answers
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
NA
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
University of Toronto Research Ethics Board
IRB Approval Date
2019-03-11
IRB Approval Number
37315