Field experiments in operations management

Yang Gao, Meng Li, Shujing Sun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While the field experiment is a powerful and well-established method to investigate causal relationships, operations management (OM) has embraced this methodology only in recent years. This paper provides a comprehensive review of the existing OM literature leveraging field experiments. It also serves as a one-stop guide for future application of field experiments in the OM area. We start by recapping the characteristics that distinguish field experiments from other common types of experiments and organizing the relevant OM studies by topic. Corresponding to the commonly overlooked issues in field experiment-based OM studies, we then provide a detailed roadmap, ranging from experimental design and implementation to post-experiment analysis. We further outline the methodological and practical issues as well as corresponding solutions when applying field experiments. We conclude by identifying future research directions from an OM perspective.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)676-701
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Operations Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • A/B test
  • field experiment
  • IT
  • methodology
  • review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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