The Behaviourally Informed Organization

Book by Dilip Soman and Catherine Yeung: “…This edited volume represents the first output from this international partnership. The book is designed to reflect our conceptual thinking, outline some early results from the partnership and an agenda for research and practice, and provide roadmaps to help both practitioners and academics converge in the common quest of developing behaviorally informed organizations. The book is divided into four parts.

In Part 1, “The Behaviorally Informed Organization,” four chapters lay out an agenda for what such an organization should be and could be. In chapter 1, Soman talks about the science of using behavioral science by developing a brief history of the field of behavioral science, outlining organizational realities, and generating a research agenda to help develop BIOrgs. In chapter 2, Feng and colleagues further develop an understanding of organizational realities and outline what resources and capabilities organizations need to develop in order to be truly behaviorally informed. In particular, they develop the notion of the cost of experimentation and make the point that driving down the cost of experimentation is key in developing behaviorally informed organizations. In chapter 3, Vinski asks and answers the question, “Why should organizations even want to be behaviorally informed?”; and in chapter 4, O’Malley and Peters add to that question by further addressing why organizations might actively resist the need to be behaviorally informed.
Organizational settings provide existing tools and also additional complexities, and in Part 2, “Overarching Insights and Tools,” four chapters address some of these organizational realities. Chapter 5 talks about “sludge” – small aspects of an organizationally created context that create impedance for end-users. If sludge is not cleared, the effectiveness of behavioral interventions will be constrained, and hence this chapter makes a case for identifying and eliminating sludge. In chapter 6, Duncan and colleagues provide a
guide to writing guidelines, an important tool for most policymakers and businesses as they attempt to provide helpful information to their citizens and customers. Given that organizations have multiple interactions for multiple products and services with their endusers, a binary classification into econs and humans is not feasible or helpful. Therefore, in chapter 7, Ireland talks about the boundedly rational complex consumer continuum, a nuanced framework for segmenting recipients of behavioral interventions. Given that endusers are inundated with information and other types of stimulus from organizations, it is unclear that they will attend to it all. In chapter 8, Hilchey and Taylor write about the psychology of attention and its implications for helping end-users make better decisions….(More)”.