Working Paper BETA #2016-46

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Title : Monolithic vs Freak Collaboration Style: the impact on research productivity

Author(s) : Ylenia Curciy, Mireille Matt, Isabelle Billard, Thierry Burger-Helmchen

Abstract : This paper analyses the role played by individual creativity in shaping collaborations styles and its impact on research productivity. To operationalise creativity we consider two contrasting visions of collaboration style: the Freak collaboration style that we define according to a popular characterization of creative individuals, and a Monolithic collaboration style that we define as Freak style's opposite. We then observe the relationship between the collaboration style and research productivity - measured by the number of publications - by estimating a Tobit model. Explanatory variables include a set of traditional variables plus preferences of collaborators in terms of gender, nationality, age, cognitive distance, as well as the reason for collaborating and the circumstances in which the collaboration began. The model shows that there are great gender differences in collaboration styles. Many of the outcomes of the estimation procedures are in line with extant researches on scientific collaborations, while some are not. In particular cognitive distance between collaborators shows a positive linear relationship and not an inverted U-shape one, partially in contrast with literature's findings. Finally, and more intriguing, uncommon ways of meeting collaborators are found to positively affect researchers' productivity. These less common ways are indeed linked to the personal attitude of establishing relationships with people met in social occasions (e.g., while talking in a cafeteria, attending a conference), in line with the literature on creative societies.

Key-words : Research Productivity, Creativity, Collaboration

JEL Classification : I23, O31, O32