Bigger teams aren’t always better in science and tech

February 13th, 2019 in

Communication and transportation technologies have facilitated the emergence of large and persistent teams in the development of science and technology. How does team size contstraint the search for ideas and impact the future? We analyzed teamwork from more than 65 million papers, patents and software products over 100 years ahd showed that small teams are more likely to disrupt existing scientific and technological paradigms, whereas large teams tend to develop them. We also showed that small teams tend to search out and build on older and less prevalent ideas, while larger teams tend to develop more popular, recent ideas.

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