When do Entrepreneurs Benefit from Acting Like Scientists? A Field Experiment in the UK
Prior research suggests that firms in entrepreneurial settings benefit from a scientific approach to decision making that combines cognitive and evidence-based components. But to what extent and under what conditions is the scientific approach to decision-making associated with superior performance? To address this question, we conducted a field experiment with 261 UK entrepreneurs at different stages of business development, training half of them on a scientific approach to decision making. Our results show that firms make the most of scientific decision-making when they are at a more advanced stage of development, as they generate higher revenues and productivity. We elaborate on the mechanisms behind this result and the implications for future research.