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Feb 08

Team size dynamics – where is the science on this?

By Georg Fasching | blogpost

The magical maximum team size was heralded at 7±2. Some now say it is 5±2. The military has it as 4.

Regardless of the actual figure what is the science behind it?

Many managers and leaders fall into the common productivity trap that more people mean more progress. But bigger doesn’t mean better when it comes to the organisation of teams at work, in fact it’s quite the contrary.

Individuals who form a part of a smaller team have been scientifically proven to be more personally productive than those on larger teams. While each additional person increases the total productivity of the team as a whole, research has shown that they do so at a decreasing rate; the 5th member to join a team for example, makes a bigger impact on its productivity than the fifteenth. Let’s look at some theories as to why this happens.Continue reading