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Can self selection create high-performing teams?

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  • Chen, Roy
  • Gong, Jie

Abstract

Does the way that teams are formed affect their productivity? To address this question, we run an experiment comparing different methods of team formation: (1) random assignment; (2) self selection; and (3) algorithm assignment designed to maximize skill complementarity. We find that self selection creates high-performing teams. These teams perform better on a team task than randomly-assigned teams and as well as those assigned using the algorithm. Exploring the mechanism, we find evidence that, when given the choice, individuals self select into teams primarily based on their social networks and exert higher effort towards the team task.

Suggested Citation

  • Chen, Roy & Gong, Jie, 2018. "Can self selection create high-performing teams?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 148(C), pages 20-33.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:148:y:2018:i:c:p:20-33
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2018.02.004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Group formation; Teamwork; Self selection; Field experiment;

    JEL classification:

    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • D23 - Microeconomics - - Production and Organizations - - - Organizational Behavior; Transaction Costs; Property Rights

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