a bias in large companies

NewAmerica

Senior Member
Mandarin
The expression "a bias in large companies" appears to have two very different meanings:

(1) large companies have such bias;
(2) people have such bias about large companies.

Which one is correct? Both seem equally possible to me.

Thanks in advance

**********************
The throw money at it tendency. Many companies have responded to competition by “adding human resources and other resources to R&D,” the authors note. They add that there may be “a bias in large companies to equate professional success with the size of one’s budget.”


By John Horgan on April 16, 2018

-Scientific American

Source
 
  • Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    The word is used here in meaning (1). This is a tendency that large companies, or the people in large companies, have.

    The preposition "in" probably wouldn't be used if it had meaning (2).
     

    NewAmerica

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Thank you. :)

    The problem for understanding is that the expression "a bias in large companies" has the same grammatical structure as "Faith in God" which we are familiar with. If "Faith in God" refers to "We/People have faith in God" rather than "God has faith in us/people", then "a bias in large companies" can be explained in the similar pattern.

    Now the meaning is clear for the Scientific American article, yet the grammar is not so clear to me.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    Bias doesn't work the same way as faith. If something/somebody is the subject of my bias, I have a bias towards them, not in them.
    The expression "a bias in large companies" appears to have two very different meanings:

    (1) large companies have such bias;:tick:
    (2) people have such bias about large companies.:cross:


    They add that there may be “a bias in large companies to equate professional success with the size of one’s budget.”
    That sentence has this meaning:
    They add that “ in large companies there may a bias be to equate professional success with the size of one’s budget.”
     
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