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Efficiency Gains from Team-Based Coordination—Large-Scale Experimental Evidence

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  • Francesco Feri
  • Bernd Irlenbusch
  • Matthias Sutter

Abstract

The need for efficient coordination is ubiquitous in organizations and industries. The literature on the determinants of efficient coordination has focused on individual decision making so far. In reality, however, teams often have to coordinate with other teams. We present a series of coordination experiments with a total of 1,101 participants. We find that teams of three subjects each coordinate much more efficiently than individuals. This finding adds one important cornerstone to the recent literature on the conditions for successful coordination. We explain the differences between individuals and teams using the experience weighted attraction learning model. (JEL C71, C91, D23, D83, M54 )

Suggested Citation

  • Francesco Feri & Bernd Irlenbusch & Matthias Sutter, 2010. "Efficiency Gains from Team-Based Coordination—Large-Scale Experimental Evidence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 100(4), pages 1892-1912, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:100:y:2010:i:4:p:1892-1912 Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.100.4.1892
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    1. David Cooper & John Lightle, 2013. "The gift of advice: communication in a bilateral gift exchange game," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 16(4), pages 443-477, December.
    2. Stefania Sitzia & Jiwei Zheng, 2017. "Group behaviour in tacit coordination games with focal points: An experimental investigation," Working Paper series, University of East Anglia, Centre for Behavioural and Experimental Social Science (CBESS) 17-02, School of Economics, University of East Anglia, Norwich, UK..
    3. Alessia Isopi & Daniele Nosenzo & Chris Starmer, 2014. "Does consultation improve decision-making?," Theory and Decision, Springer, pages 377-388.
    4. Casari, Marco & Zhang, Jingjing & Jackson, Christine, 2015. "Same Process, Different Outcomes: Group Performance in an Acquiring a Company Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 9614, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    6. Fahr, René & Irlenbusch, Bernd, 2011. "Who follows the crowd—Groups or individuals?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 80(1), pages 200-209.
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    8. Sutter, Matthias & Czermak, Simon & Feri, Francesco, 2010. "Strategic Sophistication of Individuals and Teams in Experimental Normal-Form Games," IZA Discussion Papers 4732, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    9. Marco Casari & Jingjing Zhang & Christine Jackson, 2016. "Same process, different outcomes: group performance in an acquiring a company experiment," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 19(4), pages 764-791, December.
    10. Cason, Timothy N. & Sheremeta, Roman M. & Zhang, Jingjing, 2012. "Communication and efficiency in competitive coordination games," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, vol. 76(1), pages 26-43.
    11. Müller, Wieland & Tan, Fangfang, 2013. "Who acts more like a game theorist? Group and individual play in a sequential market game and the effect of the time horizon," Games and Economic Behavior, Elsevier, pages 658-674.
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    13. Fehr, Dietmar, 2017. "Costly communication and learning from failure in organizational coordination," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 93(C), pages 106-122.
    14. Thommes, Kirsten & Vyrastekova, Jana & Akkerman, Agnes, 2015. "Behavioral spillovers from freeriding in multilevel interactions," Journal of Behavioral and Experimental Economics (formerly The Journal of Socio-Economics), Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 78-87.
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    17. Sutter, Matthias & Czermak, Simon & Feri, Francesco, 2013. "Strategic sophistication of individuals and teams. Experimental evidence," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 64(C), pages 395-410.
    18. Julia Müller & Thorsten Upmann, 2017. "Eigenvalue Productivity: Measurement of Individual Contributions in Teams," CESifo Working Paper Series 6679, CESifo Group Munich.
    19. Stöckl, Thomas & Huber, Jürgen & Kirchler, Michael & Lindner, Florian, 2015. "Hot hand and gambler's fallacy in teams: Evidence from investment experiments," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 117(C), pages 327-339.
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    21. Kriss, Peter H. & Blume, Andreas & Weber, Roberto A., 2016. "Coordination with decentralized costly communication," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 130(C), pages 225-241.
    22. Grund, Christian & Harbring, Christine & Thommes, Kirsten, 2015. "Public good provision in blended groups of partners and strangers," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 41-44.
    23. Bizer, Kilian & Meub, Lukas & Proeger, Till & Spiwoks, Markus, 2014. "Strategic coordination in forecasting: An experimental study," Center for European, Governance and Economic Development Research Discussion Papers 195, University of Goettingen, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C71 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Game Theory and Bargaining Theory - - - Cooperative Games
    • C91 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Laboratory, Individual Behavior
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • M54 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics - - - Labor Management

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