The study conducted by Mort and Knapp (1999) is descsribed as an experiment. Those aspects of the case that are experimental refer to the deployment of new workspaces and the creation of LXShare. The situation in which the production of new deliverables was centered is experimental in that it brought together a diverse team of information technology professionals who were observed in an interactive setting with respect to the Hawthorne effect.
Davis (1996) suggests that this type of pilot program is experimental only to the degree that it employs new strategies and observes those strategies and their outcomes. In a true experimental design as described by Babbie (1990), both a control and experimental group would have been present. Such an option was not possible in the study by Mort and Knapp (1999) because the goal was not to compare and contrast two different ways of integrating workspace design, Web-based tools, and other techniques, but rather to assess the performance of one particular way of achieving this and its effects on organizational behavior.
Consequently, the inferences made from the research must be understood as preliminary and as limited. As Mort and Knapp (1999) note, the experiment should not be viewed as the only way to produce the desired changes in organizational effectiveness. Any number of alternative strategies could be used to achieve such an outcome. The compromises made between a classic experimental research design and observation of a single intervention with no comparison to a control group limit the applicability of results (Babbie, 1990).
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