Improving Workplace Climate: A Randomized Intervention on Large Corporations
Last registered on May 31, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Improving Workplace Climate: A Randomized Intervention on Large Corporations
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0007532
Initial registration date
April 13, 2021
Last updated
May 31, 2021 3:20 AM EDT
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
European University Institute
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Kadir Has University
PI Affiliation
Max Planck Institute for Research on Collective Goods
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2019-09-02
End date
2021-08-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
Effective communication skills are essential ingredients for a healthy and cohesive work environment. This study aims to test whether reinforcing these skills via a creative training program offered to white-collar professionals improves workplace climate and enables better social interactions in large corporations. The evaluation sample contains white-collar professionals of all ranks from 20 large corporations in Turkey representing the chemistry, defense, construction, textiles, energy, and finance sectors. The intervention involves a series of workshops where a professional implementing partner uses unique interactive methods, including creative drama and role-playing, to improve social and interpersonal skills. A critical component of the intervention is a series of team exercises following workshop sessions, lasting over eight weeks, managed and monitored by the implementing partner. While the intervention targets all white-collar workers from all ranks, team and department leaders are particularly encouraged to attend.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Alan, Sule, Gozde Corekcioglu and Matthias Sutter. 2021. "Improving Workplace Climate: A Randomized Intervention on Large Corporations." AEA RCT Registry. May 31. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.7532-1.1.
Sponsors & Partners
Sponsor(s)
Partner(s)
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
The intervention involves a series of workshops where a professional implementing partner uses unique interactive methods, including creative drama and role-playing, to improve social and interpersonal skills. A critical component of the intervention is a series of team exercises following workshop sessions, lasting over eight weeks, managed and monitored by the implementing partner. While the intervention targets all white-collar workers from all ranks, team and department leaders are particularly encouraged to attend.
Intervention Start Date
2020-11-02
Intervention End Date
2021-04-30
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
We designed a wide range of outcomes to test the effectiveness of the training program. To construct our outcomes, we use three main data collection tools:


1) Survey questions
2) Incentivized experiments
3) Social networks

See below for a detailed explanation
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Our primary outcomes of interest can be grouped into three categories.
1) Perceived workplace climate indicators. Using a large numbers of item-response questions and we will construct following indices:

a) Behavioral (descriptive) norms
b) Workplace satisfaction
c) Meritocratic values of the firm
d) Occupational satisfaction
e) Within-department cooperation


2) Social Skills (measured via incentivized games)

a) Trust
b) Reciprocity
c) Performance sabotaging behavior
d) Inequality acceptance


3) Social Networks (Departmental Level Network Structure)

Using professional and personal support links with colleagues

a) Closeness index
b) Density index
c) Share of isolated individuals in the department
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Our secondary outcomes are:

1) Perceived Leaders' quality
2) Leaders' ability to take perspective (from the viewpoint of subordinates)
3) Prescriptive norms
4) Receiving professional support from the leader (networks)
5) Receiving personal support from the leader (networks)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
All secondary outcomes are to be used to identify/rule out various alternative mechanisms that might explain our results.
1) Perceived Leaders' quality: An index constructed using item-response questions
2) Leaders' ability to take perspective: An index constructed using item-response questions
3) Prescriptive norms: An index constructed using item-response questions about team leaders
4) Support ties: network measures
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The study is a clustered randomized controlled trial. The unit of randomization is corporation. Our randomization procedure assigned 10 firms to treatment and 10 to control. We stratified randomization on sector.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization was done in the office by a computer, using Stata Software. We stratified randomization on sector.
Randomization Unit
Corporation
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
20 corporations
Sample size: planned number of observations
Approximately 3000 white-collar professionals
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
10 corporations treatment, 10 control
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
We assume 5% significance level and 80% power. Our intracluster correlations for primary outcomes range between 0.02 and 0.05. Unit is corporation. We set the sample size per unit to 150. Given these, we will be able to detect 21% change in descriptive norms, 30% change, 26% change in workplace satisfaction, 30% change in perceived meritocratic values, 11% change in cooperation, 17% change in altruism, 28% change in the probability of receiving professional help from department leader, 31% change in the probability of receiving personal help from department leader. Note that all these values are unconditional. The actual MDEs are likely to be much lower than these values as we will be able to control for baseline values of all our primary outcomes.
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Kadir Has University Ethics Board
IRB Approval Date
2019-05-16
IRB Approval Number
N/A
Analysis Plan

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