How Does Bureaucracy Impact Idea Generation? A Randomized Field Experiment in an Entrepreneurship Bootcamp in Bangladesh

Principal Investigator

Khonika Gope
Management Science & Engineering Department, Stanford School of Engineering


Stanford Graduate School of Business
Research Locations Bangladesh
Award Date November 2016
Award Type PhD I-Award


Bureaucracy is believed to be one of the main reasons why organizations in developing economies are less innovative. However, little is actually known about how exactly bureaucracy inhibits innovation. Does bureaucratic environment impact the quality or quantity of the innovative ideas or both? I plan to conduct a randomized field experiment in Bangladesh launching the first innovation boot camp in the country. I will recruit 200+ entrepreneurs to participate in the innovation boot camp. The participants will be randomly assigned to either of the two conditions – bureaucratic (treatment group) and non-bureaucratic (control group). Same idea generation challenges will be given to both the groups. The study will measure the number, mean quality, and variance in quality of the ideas, and the ability of the participants to discern idea quality under both the conditions. Afterward, the participants will undergo 3-day innovation training. At the end of the training, the participants will again be randomly assigned to bureaucratic and non-bureaucratic conditions and will undertake similar innovation challenge. Thus, the study will also explore how innovation training impacts the idea generation process in bureaucratic and non-bureaucratic conditions. By exploring how the bureaucratic environment affects idea generation both pre and post-innovation training, the study will provide valuable insights for entrepreneurs and policymakers on how to improve the organizational innovativeness and performance in developing economies. The appropriate policies will contribute significantly in accelerating organizational efficiency, which translates into economic development in developing economies.