I am very interested in the relationship between collaboration and creativity. I currently have two working papers on this topic. While the first focuses on group size, the second examines the impact of group diversity on creative performance. You can find the first paper’s abstract below or download the latest draft here. Please contact me if you are curious about the second.
Is Collaboration Creative or Costly? Exploring Tradeoffs in the Organization of Knowledge Work (with Fiona Murray) (Revise & Resubmit at Management Science)
Abstract: Is collaboration creative or costly for knowledge workers? Whilecollaboration has been shown to be associated with higher quality creative output, much less is known about whether collaborative work is productively efficient for knowledge work overall. In order to understand the “net value” of collaboration, it is important to therefore consider both its output and its input. To do so, we examine the annual research activity of 661 faculty scientists at one institution over a 31-year period, but in a variety of collaborative arrangements. Our data supports previous reports that scientists tend to publish higher quality papers when they collaborate more. However, we also find that they also tend to publish fewer papers by year of work. This tradeoff between productivity and quality widens with the size of thecollaboration and emerges as a central cost of collaboration in creative knowledge work.