Garbage Can in the Lab

37 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2012

See all articles by Thorbjorn Knudsen

Thorbjorn Knudsen

University of Southern Denmark - Department of Marketing & Management - Strategic Organization Design Unit (SOD)

Massimo Warglien

University of Venice - Department of Business Economics & Management

Sangyoon Yi

University of Southern Denmark - Department of Marketing & Management - Strategic Organization Design (SOD) Group; Graduate School of Future Strategy

Date Written: May 1, 2012

Abstract

We develop an experimental setting where the assumptions and predictions of the garbage can model can be tested. A careful reconstruction of the original simulation model enables us to select parameters that leave room for potential variations in individual behavior. Our experimental design replicates these parameters and thereby facilitates comparison of human behavior with the behavioral assumption of the original model. We find that the majority strategy of human subjects is consistent with the original model, but exhibits some extent of behavioral diversity. What is notable is that, although slightly outperforming the simulation model, human subjects failed to learn at the group level to improve performance. This is because human subjects exhibit fluid diverse behaviors that improve coordination in the face of uncertainty, but hinder collective learning.

Keywords: Garbage Can Model, Dynamic Coordination, Behavioral Diversity, Collective Learning

Suggested Citation

Knudsen, Thorbjorn and Warglien, Massimo and Yi, Sangyoon, Garbage Can in the Lab (May 1, 2012). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2102115 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2102115

Thorbjorn Knudsen

University of Southern Denmark - Department of Marketing & Management - Strategic Organization Design Unit (SOD) ( email )

Faculty of Social Sciences
Campusvej 55
DK-5230 Odense
Denmark

HOME PAGE: http://www.sdu.dk/sod

Massimo Warglien

University of Venice - Department of Business Economics & Management ( email )

Dorsoduro 3246
Venezia VE 30121, Veneto 30123
Italy

Sangyoon Yi (Contact Author)

University of Southern Denmark - Department of Marketing & Management - Strategic Organization Design (SOD) Group ( email )

Campusvej 55
DK-5230 Odense, 5000
Denmark

HOME PAGE: http://www.sod-research.com/sangyoon-yi

Graduate School of Future Strategy ( email )

373-1 Kusong-dong
Yuson-gu
Taejon 305-701, 130-722
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

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