Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2037869
 
 

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The Power of Diversity Over Large Solution Spaces


Marco LiCalzi


Dept. Management, Università Ca' Foscari Venezia

Oktay Surucu


Bielefeld University - Center for Mathematical Economics

September 26, 2011

Department of Management, Università Ca' Foscari Venezia Working Paper No. 1/2011

Abstract:     
We consider a team of agents with limited problem-solving ability facing a disjunctive task over a large solution space. We provide sufficient conditions for the following four statements. First, two heads are better than one: a team of two agents will solve the problem even if neither agent alone would be able to. Second, teaming up does not guarantee success: if the agents are not sufficiently creative, even a team of arbitrary size may fail to solve the problem. Third, "defendit numerus": when the agent's problem-solving ability is adversely affected by the complexity of the solution space, the solution of the problem requires only a mild increase in the size of the team. Fourth, groupthink impairs the power of diversity: if agents' abilities are positively correlated, a larger team is necessary to solve the problem.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 26

Keywords: Problem-solving, Bounded rationality, Theory of teams, Groupthink

JEL Classification: D23, D71, C65

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Date posted: April 11, 2012  

Suggested Citation

LiCalzi, Marco and Surucu, Oktay, The Power of Diversity Over Large Solution Spaces (September 26, 2011). Department of Management, Università Ca' Foscari Venezia Working Paper No. 1/2011. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2037869 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2037869

Contact Information

Marco LiCalzi (Contact Author)
Dept. Management, Università Ca' Foscari Venezia ( email )
San Giobbe, Cannaregio 873
Venice, 30121
Italy
+39-0412346925 (Phone)
+39-0412347444 (Fax)
HOME PAGE: http://venus.unive.it/licalzi/
Oktay Surucu
Bielefeld University - Center for Mathematical Economics ( email )
Postfach 10 01 31
Bielefeld, D-33501
Germany
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