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      Evidence for a creative dilemma posed by repeated collaborations

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          Abstract

          We focused on how repeat collaborations in projects for inventions affect performance. Repeat collaborations have two contradictory aspects. A positive aspect is team development or experience, and a negative aspect is team degeneration or decline. Since both contradicting phenomena are observed, inventors have a dilemma as to whether they should keep collaborating in a team or not. The dilemma has not previously been quantitatively analyzed. We provide quantitative and extensive analyses of the dilemma in creative projects by using patent data from Japan and the United States. We confirm three predictions to quantitatively validate the existence of the dilemma. The first prediction is that the greater the patent a team achieves, the longer the team will work together. The second prediction is that the impact of consecutive patents decreases after a team makes a remarkable invention, which is measured by the impact of patents. The third prediction is that the expectation of impact with new teams is greater than that with the same teams successful in the past. We find these predictions are validated in patents published in Japan and the United States. On the basis of these three predictions, we can quantitatively validate the dilemma in creative projects. We also propose preventive strategies for degeneration. One is developing technological diversity, and another is developing inventor diversity in teams.We find the two strategies are both effective by validating with the data.

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          Most cited references 6

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          Social science. Computational social science.

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            The increasing dominance of teams in production of knowledge.

            We have used 19.9 million papers over 5 decades and 2.1 million patents to demonstrate that teams increasingly dominate solo authors in the production of knowledge. Research is increasingly done in teams across nearly all fields. Teams typically produce more frequently cited research than individuals do, and this advantage has been increasing over time. Teams now also produce the exceptionally high-impact research, even where that distinction was once the domain of solo authors. These results are detailed for sciences and engineering, social sciences, arts and humanities, and patents, suggesting that the process of knowledge creation has fundamentally changed.
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              Team assembly mechanisms determine collaboration network structure and team performance.

              Agents in creative enterprises are embedded in networks that inspire, support, and evaluate their work. Here, we investigate how the mechanisms by which creative teams self-assemble determine the structure of these collaboration networks. We propose a model for the self-assembly of creative teams that has its basis in three parameters: team size, the fraction of newcomers in new productions, and the tendency of incumbents to repeat previous collaborations. The model suggests that the emergence of a large connected community of practitioners can be described as a phase transition. We find that team assembly mechanisms determine both the structure of the collaboration network and team performance for teams derived from both artistic and scientific fields.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                1409.6336
                10.1371/journal.pone.0137418

                Social & Information networks, General physics

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