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Can too many cooks spoil the broth? Coordination costs, fatigue, and performance in high-intensity tasks

Bastian Kordyaka, Mario Lackner () and Hendrik Sonnabend

No 2019-19, Economics working papers from Department of Economics, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria

Abstract: Workplace flexibility offers a wide range of opportunities but also carries risks within the context of collaborative tasks. While increasing the number of collaborators can reduce fatigue and therefore enhance performance, it also increases coordination costs. Our study investigates this trade-off in a complex team task with high effort costs in a natural setting. We use the instrumental variables method combined with an extensive sensitivity analysis to identify the causal effect of in-game substitutions on performance in professional basketball. Our findings suggest that increasing the number of collaborators, on balance negatively affects team performance. However, we also provide evidence that the most successful teams are able to optimally trade off both effects.

Keywords: coordination costs; fatigue; productivity; team performance; substitutions (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D22 J4 J22 Z20 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019-11
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-hrm, nep-lma, nep-ore and nep-spo
Note: English
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:jku:econwp:2019_19

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