Ability Dispersion and Team Performance

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Ability Dispersion and Team Performance

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dc.contributor.author Hoogendoorn, Sander
dc.contributor.author Parker, Simon C.
dc.contributor.author Van Praag, Mirjam
dc.date.accessioned 2014-08-12T13:00:40Z
dc.date.available 2014-08-12T13:00:40Z
dc.date.issued 2014-08-12
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10398/8963
dc.description.abstract What is the effect of dispersed levels of cognitive ability of members of a (business) team on their team's performance? This paper reports the results of a field experiment in which 573 students in 49 teams start up and manage real companies under identical circumstances. We ensured exogenous variation in - otherwise random - team composition by assigning students to teams based on their measured cognitive abilities (Raven test). Each team performs a variety of tasks, often involving complex decision making. The key result of the experiment is that the performance of business teams first increases and then decreases with ability dispersion. We seek to understand this finding by developing a model in which team members of different ability levels form sub-teams with other team members with similar ability levels to specialize in different productive tasks. Diversity spreads production over different tasks in order to escape diminishing marginal returns under specialization. The model comes with a boundary condition: our experimental finding is most likely to emerge in settings where different tasks exhibit moderate differences in their productive contributions to total output. en_US
dc.format.extent 37 en_US
dc.language eng en_US
dc.publisher Tinbergen Institute, University of Amsterdam en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries Tinbergen Institute Discussion Papers;14-053/VII
dc.subject.other Ability dispersion en_US
dc.subject.other Team performance en_US
dc.subject.other Feld experiment en_US
dc.subject.other Entrepreneurship en_US
dc.title Ability Dispersion and Team Performance en_US
dc.type wp en_US
dc.contributor.corporation Copenhagen Business School. CBS en_US
dc.contributor.corporation CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis en_US
dc.contributor.corporation Ivey Business School, Western University en_US
dc.contributor.department Institut for Innovation og Organisationsøkonomi en_US
dc.contributor.departmentshort INO en_US
dc.contributor.departmentuk Department of Innovation and Organizational Economics en_US
dc.contributor.departmentukshort INO en_US
dc.publisher.city Amsterdam en_US
dc.publisher.year 2014 en_US


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