Does Size Matter: The Effect of Team Size on Team Dynamics and Performance

We say size does matter! Specifically, this study will investigate the influence of team size on various team-level performance measures. These include but are not limited to: report grade, creativity, TurnItIn score and timeliness. We anticipate a cubic effect. That is, team size would positively predict performance until a certain point at which the effect would decline. We anticipate that the positive influence of diversity and aggregate inputs resulting from larger team sizes would eventually be “overpowered” by the increase of coordination costs. When such coordination costs become too great, we would anticipate the formation of sub-groups, leading to a decrease in coordinator costs an increase in performance again. Thus, we envision a cubic effect. We will investigate mediators (like conflict, dispersion) and moderators (like subgroup formation).

We envision the paper having two “studies”. The first study would use various semesters of data, having thousands of teams of various sizes. Therein we will primarily focus on the direct/squared/cubed effect of team size on team performance. The second study would randomly assign students in X-Culture to teams of various sizes. We plan to collect data for the second study in the fall of 2020-1-B. Therein we will primarily focus on the effect of mediators and moderators.

Contact: Justin Kraemer