Collaboration, Motivation, and the Size of Organizations
AbstractWe present an analytical model of an organization that offers operational drivers of limits on team size. The model trades off benefits from collaborative problem solving against the disadvantages of diminishing motivation when groups get large. When the performance increase is linear with the number of team members, there is a barrier that prevents cooperation for large teams. When the performance increase is superlinear however, collaborative problem solving benefits balance motivational effects. Thus effective problem solving methods are of double value, improving direct productivity and mitigating the social dilemma of team production. The resuls imply that managers should enlarge their organizations up to the minimum limit set by the cooperation barrier and the exogenous performance limit.
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Date of creation: Jan 1995
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