publication . Article . Other literature type . 2016

An Experimental Study of Team Size and Performance on a Complex Task.

Andrew Mao; Winter Mason; Siddharth Suri; Duncan J. Watts;
Open Access English
  • Published: 15 Apr 2016 Journal: PLoS ONE, volume 11, issue 4 (eissn: 1932-6203, Copyright policy)
  • Publisher: Public Library of Science
Abstract
The relationship between team size and productivity is a question of broad relevance across economics, psychology, and management science. For complex tasks, however, where both the potential benefits and costs of coordinated work increase with the number of workers, neither theoretical arguments nor empirical evidence consistently favor larger vs. smaller teams. Experimental findings, meanwhile, have relied on small groups and highly stylized tasks, hence are hard to generalize to realistic settings. Here we narrow the gap between real-world task complexity and experimental control, reporting results from an online experiment in which 47 teams of size ranging f...
Subjects
free text keywords: Research Article, Biology and Life Sciences, Psychology, Collective Human Behavior, Team Behavior, Social Sciences, Sociology, Communications, Social Communication, Social Media, Twitter, Computer and Information Sciences, Network Analysis, Social Networks, Economics, Experimental Economics, Neuroscience, Cognitive Science, Cognitive Psychology, Problem Solving, Finance, Public Finance, Money Supply and Banking, Research and Analysis Methods, Research Design, Experimental Design, Labor Economics, Salaries, Medicine, R, Science, Q, General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology, General Agricultural and Biological Sciences, General Medicine
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42 references, page 1 of 3

1 Guimera R, Uzzi B, Spiro J, Amaral LAN. Team assembly mechanisms determine collaboration network structure and team performance. Science. 2005;308(5722):697–702. 10.1126/science.1106340 15860629 [OpenAIRE] [PubMed] [DOI]

2 Wuchty S, Jones BF, Uzzi B. The increasing dominance of teams in production of knowledge. Science. 2007;316(5827):1036–1039. 10.1126/science.1136099 17431139 [OpenAIRE] [PubMed] [DOI]

3 Ungar L, Mellors B, Satopää V, Baron J, Tetlock P, Ramos J, et al. The Good Judgment Project: A Large Scale Test. AAAI Technical Report. 2012; FS-12-06.

4 Lazer D, Friedman A. The network structure of exploration and exploitation. Administrative Science Quarterly. 2007;52(4):667–694. 10.2189/asqu.52.4.667 [OpenAIRE] [DOI]

5 Bettencourt L. The rules of information aggregation and emergence of collective intelligent behavior. Topics in Cognitive Science. 2009;1(4):598–620. 10.1111/j.1756-8765.2009.01047.x 25163449 [OpenAIRE] [PubMed] [DOI]

6 Shore J, Bernstein E, Lazer D. Facts and Figuring: An Experimental Investigation of Network Structure and Performance in Information and Solution Spaces. Organization Science. 2015; (10.1287/orsc.2015.0980). 10.1287/orsc.2015.0980 [DOI]

7 Becker GS, Murphy KM. The Division of Labor, Coordination Costs, and Knowledge. The Quarterly Journal of Economics. 1992;107(4):1137–1160. 10.2307/2118383 [OpenAIRE] [DOI]

8 Marschak J, Radner R. Economic Theory of Teams. Yale University Press; 1972.

9 Steiner ID. Group Process and Productivity. Academic Press Inc; 1972.

10 Janis IL. Victims of groupthink: a psychological study of foreign-policy decisions and fiascoes. 1972;.

11 Holmstrom B. Moral hazard in teams. The Bell Journal of Economics. 1982; p. 324–340. 10.2307/3003457 [OpenAIRE] [DOI]

12 Brooks FP. The mythical man-month. Addison-Wesley Reading, MA; 1975.

13 Malone TW, Crowston K. The interdisciplinary study of coordination. ACM Computing Surveys (CSUR). 1994;26(1):87–119. 10.1145/174666.174668 [OpenAIRE] [DOI]

14 Lorenz J, Rauhut H, Schweitzer F, Helbing D. How social influence can undermine the wisdom of crowd effect. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2011;108(22):9020–9025. 10.1073/pnas.1008636108 [OpenAIRE] [DOI]

15 Tetlock PE, Peterson RS, McGuire C, Chang Sj, Feld P. Assessing political group dynamics: a test of the groupthink model. Journal of personality and social psychology. 1992;63(3):403 10.1037/0022-3514.63.3.403 [DOI]

42 references, page 1 of 3
Abstract
The relationship between team size and productivity is a question of broad relevance across economics, psychology, and management science. For complex tasks, however, where both the potential benefits and costs of coordinated work increase with the number of workers, neither theoretical arguments nor empirical evidence consistently favor larger vs. smaller teams. Experimental findings, meanwhile, have relied on small groups and highly stylized tasks, hence are hard to generalize to realistic settings. Here we narrow the gap between real-world task complexity and experimental control, reporting results from an online experiment in which 47 teams of size ranging f...
Subjects
free text keywords: Research Article, Biology and Life Sciences, Psychology, Collective Human Behavior, Team Behavior, Social Sciences, Sociology, Communications, Social Communication, Social Media, Twitter, Computer and Information Sciences, Network Analysis, Social Networks, Economics, Experimental Economics, Neuroscience, Cognitive Science, Cognitive Psychology, Problem Solving, Finance, Public Finance, Money Supply and Banking, Research and Analysis Methods, Research Design, Experimental Design, Labor Economics, Salaries, Medicine, R, Science, Q, General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology, General Agricultural and Biological Sciences, General Medicine
Download fromView all 4 versions
PLoS ONE
Article . 2016
PLoS ONE
Article . 2016
Provider: Crossref
PLoS ONE
Article
Provider: UnpayWall
42 references, page 1 of 3

1 Guimera R, Uzzi B, Spiro J, Amaral LAN. Team assembly mechanisms determine collaboration network structure and team performance. Science. 2005;308(5722):697–702. 10.1126/science.1106340 15860629 [OpenAIRE] [PubMed] [DOI]

2 Wuchty S, Jones BF, Uzzi B. The increasing dominance of teams in production of knowledge. Science. 2007;316(5827):1036–1039. 10.1126/science.1136099 17431139 [OpenAIRE] [PubMed] [DOI]

3 Ungar L, Mellors B, Satopää V, Baron J, Tetlock P, Ramos J, et al. The Good Judgment Project: A Large Scale Test. AAAI Technical Report. 2012; FS-12-06.

4 Lazer D, Friedman A. The network structure of exploration and exploitation. Administrative Science Quarterly. 2007;52(4):667–694. 10.2189/asqu.52.4.667 [OpenAIRE] [DOI]

5 Bettencourt L. The rules of information aggregation and emergence of collective intelligent behavior. Topics in Cognitive Science. 2009;1(4):598–620. 10.1111/j.1756-8765.2009.01047.x 25163449 [OpenAIRE] [PubMed] [DOI]

6 Shore J, Bernstein E, Lazer D. Facts and Figuring: An Experimental Investigation of Network Structure and Performance in Information and Solution Spaces. Organization Science. 2015; (10.1287/orsc.2015.0980). 10.1287/orsc.2015.0980 [DOI]

7 Becker GS, Murphy KM. The Division of Labor, Coordination Costs, and Knowledge. The Quarterly Journal of Economics. 1992;107(4):1137–1160. 10.2307/2118383 [OpenAIRE] [DOI]

8 Marschak J, Radner R. Economic Theory of Teams. Yale University Press; 1972.

9 Steiner ID. Group Process and Productivity. Academic Press Inc; 1972.

10 Janis IL. Victims of groupthink: a psychological study of foreign-policy decisions and fiascoes. 1972;.

11 Holmstrom B. Moral hazard in teams. The Bell Journal of Economics. 1982; p. 324–340. 10.2307/3003457 [OpenAIRE] [DOI]

12 Brooks FP. The mythical man-month. Addison-Wesley Reading, MA; 1975.

13 Malone TW, Crowston K. The interdisciplinary study of coordination. ACM Computing Surveys (CSUR). 1994;26(1):87–119. 10.1145/174666.174668 [OpenAIRE] [DOI]

14 Lorenz J, Rauhut H, Schweitzer F, Helbing D. How social influence can undermine the wisdom of crowd effect. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2011;108(22):9020–9025. 10.1073/pnas.1008636108 [OpenAIRE] [DOI]

15 Tetlock PE, Peterson RS, McGuire C, Chang Sj, Feld P. Assessing political group dynamics: a test of the groupthink model. Journal of personality and social psychology. 1992;63(3):403 10.1037/0022-3514.63.3.403 [DOI]

42 references, page 1 of 3
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