Karim Lakhani

Harvard Business School
Morgan Hall 433
Soldiers Field Road
Boston, MA 02163
Tel: 617/401-7332

E-Mail: EmailAddress: hidden: you can email any NBER-related person as first underscore last at nber dot org
NBER Program Affiliations: PR
NBER Affiliation: Research Associate

NBER Working Papers and Publications

April 2016Motivating Effort In Contributing to Public Goods Inside Organizations: Field Experimental Evidence
with Andrea Blasco, Olivia S. Jung, Michael Menietti: w22189
We investigate the factors driving workers’ decisions to generate public goods inside an organization through a randomized solicitation of workplace improvement proposals in a medical center with 1200 employees. We find that pecuniary incentives, such as winning a prize, generate a threefold increase in participation compared to non-pecuniary incentives alone, such as prestige or recognition. Participation is also increased by a solicitation appealing to improving the workplace. However, emphasizing the patient mission of the organization led to countervailing effects on participation. Overall, these results are consistent with workers having multiple underlying motivations to contribute to public goods inside the organization consisting of a combination of pecuniary and altruistic incenti...
June 2015Innovation Experiments: Researching Technical Advance, Knowledge Production, and the Design of Supporting Institutions
with Kevin J. Boudreau
in Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume 16, Josh Lerner and Scott Stern, editors
This paper discusses several challenges in designing field experiments to better understand how organizational and institutional design shapes innovation outcomes and the production of knowledge. We proceed to describe the field experimental research program carried out by our Crowd Innovation Laboratory at Harvard University to clarify how we have attempted to address these research design challenges. This program has simultaneously solved important practical innovation problems for partner organizations, like NASA and Harvard Medical School, while contributing research advances, particularly in relation to innovation contests and tournaments.
April 2011The Confederacy of Heterogeneous Software Organizations and Heterogeneous Developers: Field Experimental Evidence on Sorting and Worker Effort
with Kevin J. Boudreau
in The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity Revisited, Josh Lerner and Scott Stern, editors
NBER Videos

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email:

Contact Us