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Selection at the Gate: Difficult Cases, Spillovers, and Organizational Learning

Stan, M; Vermeulen, F; (2012) Selection at the Gate: Difficult Cases, Spillovers, and Organizational Learning. Organization Science , 24 (3) pp. 796-812. 10.1287/orsc.1120.0763. Green open access

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Abstract

We analyze longitudinal data on British fertility clinics to examine the impact of “selection at the gate,” i.e., the attempts of organizations to improve the success rate of their output by selecting promising cases as input. In contrast to what might be expected, we argue that more stringent input selection is likely to lead to lower overt performance compared with those firms that admit difficult cases, because the latter develop steeper learning curves. That is, difficult cases enable greater learning from prior experience because they promote experimentation, communication among various actors, and the codification of new knowledge. Our results confirm this prediction and provide clear evidence that organizations with more difficult cases in their portfolios gradually begin to display performance figures that compare favorably with those of firms that do select at the gate.

Type: Article
Title: Selection at the Gate: Difficult Cases, Spillovers, and Organizational Learning
Location: US
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1287/orsc.1120.0763
Publisher version: http://orgsci.journal.informs.org/content/early/20...
Language: English
Keywords: Organizational learning, longitudinal research, organizational capabilities
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > UCL School of Management
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1360128
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