Title

Collaborative Benefits and Coordination Costs: Learning and Capability Development in Science

Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date

6-2013

Abstract

We examine the effects of team structure and experience on the impact of inventions produced by scientific teams. Whereas multidisciplinary, collaborative teams have become the norm in scientific production, there are coordination costs commensurate with managing such teams. We use patent citation analysis to examine the effect of prior collaboration and patenting experience on invention impact of 282 patents granted in human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research from 1998 to 2010. Our results reveal that team experience outside the domain may be detrimental to project performance in a setting where the underlying knowledge changes. In stem cell science, we show that interdepartmental collaboration has a negative effect on invention impact. Scientific proximity between members of the team has a curvilinear relationship, suggesting that teams consisting of members with moderate proximity get the highest impact. We elaborate on these findings for theories of collaboration and coordination and its implications for radical scientific discoveries.

Keywords

scientific teams, collaboration, university, invention, knowledge

Discipline

Business | Strategic Management Policy | Technology and Innovation

Research Areas

Strategy and Organisation

Publication

Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal

Volume

7

Issue

2

First Page

122

Last Page

137

ISSN

1932-4391

Identifier

10.1002/sej.1154

Publisher

Wiley

Additional URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/sej.1154