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Optimal group composition for efficient division of labor

Author

Listed:
  • Takuya Sekiguchi

    (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science
    The Graduate University for Advanced Studies
    National Institute of Informatics)

Abstract

This study examines a group performing multiple tasks, with each subgroup performing each task expressed as a binary choice problem. Each subgroup uses the simple majority rule; a correct decision benefits the subgroup. This study demonstrates that, assuming all individuals’ equal competence for all tasks and a sufficiently large group size, when each individual’s probability of making a correct decision exceeds one-half, the optimal group composition is an equal number of individuals per subgroup. Conversely, it is less than one-half, the assignment produces the lowest benefit. We also find that when decision-making costs exist, if the competence is greater than one-half, the possibility that the performance of division of labor outweighs that of plenary voting increases as the cost increases. On the other hand, if the competence is less than one-half, division of labor is always more beneficial than plenary voting. The optimal group compositions for the cases where the group size is not sufficiently large are also discussed.

Suggested Citation

  • Takuya Sekiguchi, 2016. "Optimal group composition for efficient division of labor," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 81(4), pages 601-618, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:theord:v:81:y:2016:i:4:d:10.1007_s11238-016-9552-1
    DOI: 10.1007/s11238-016-9552-1
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    References listed on IDEAS

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