Let's Talk It Over: Communication and Coordination in Teams

44 Pages Posted: 22 Nov 2017 Last revised: 24 Jan 2019

See all articles by Jens Dietrichson

Jens Dietrichson

VIVE - The Danish Center for Social Science Research

Jens Gudmundsson

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics

Torsten Jochem

University of Amsterdam

Date Written: January 22, 2019

Abstract

Collaboration in teams in which each member’s output is critical to the overall success present organizations with difficult coordination problems. We develop a model and run simulations to analyze how costly communication affects team coordination and output efficiency. We show that absent any organizational routines to structure team communication the least efficient outcome is the most frequent output. We then derive formal conditions and simulate efficiency gains for several communication routines that improve team coordination and efficiency. Our model and simulation results match a broad range of findings from the experimental and organizational literature, help explain and provide a theoretical foundation for why collaborations involving several organizational units often fail, and suggest new tests for promising communication routines.

Keywords: Coordination, Communication, Teams, Routines, Authority

JEL Classification: D23, D02, L22, L23, C73

Suggested Citation

Dietrichson, Jens and Gudmundsson, Jens and Jochem, Torsten, Let's Talk It Over: Communication and Coordination in Teams (January 22, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3073571 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3073571

Jens Dietrichson (Contact Author)

VIVE - The Danish Center for Social Science Research ( email )

Herluf Trolles Gade 11
Copenhagen, DK 1052
Denmark

Jens Gudmundsson

University of Copenhagen - Department of Economics ( email )

Øster Farimagsgade 5
Bygning 26
1353 Copenhagen K.
Denmark

Torsten Jochem

University of Amsterdam ( email )

Plantage Muidergracht 12
Amsterdam, 1018TV
Netherlands

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