Team size and diversity

Brais Álvarez Pereira

Nova School of Business and Economics, BELAB e NOVAFRICA

Shan Aman-Rana

University of Virginia

Alexia Delfino

Bocconi University

ISSN 2183-0843
Working Paper No 2301
Fevereiro 2023


We analyse the relationship of performance with team diversity and size. We first propose a model with knowledge spillovers in production, which predicts that the effect of team diversity on individual performance increases with team size. We experimentally test the model by randomly assigning students to solve knowledge questions in teams of different sizes, with or without diversity. Our main finding is that the benefit of diversity is increasing in team size. We
further show that such benefit is heterogeneous depending on students’ gender and the gender composition of teams. This has implications for how organizations can design their teams to maximize knowledge flows and performance.

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