Specialization and Complementarities of Knowledge in Scientific Research: Three Papers Exploring how Specialization and Complementarities of Knowledge Affect Individual Performance in Scientific Research

Lars Alkærsig

    Research output: Book/ReportPh.D. thesisResearch

    Abstract

    Specialization is generally perceived as fundamental to improving performance both at the individual and organizational level. This has been the focus of numerous studies, where the specialization within a single task is argued to increase performance due to the familiarity of the task, essentially following a learning curve.
    Specialization on the individual level have been argued to be of particular importance in knowledge intensive environments, due to the limited capacity of the individual to encompass multiple areas of knowledge.
    However the notion that a broader range of activities can be beneficial has gained influence, arguing that exposure to variety and task diversification improves learning beyond that of specialization. Branching out has proved to be beneficial to the individual, where engaging in diverse, but related tasks have shown to increase performance to a higher degree than specialization.

    The purpose of this thesis is to contribute to our understanding of the effects of specialization of the individual through an exploration of how the performance of the individual are affected by the balance between specialization and diversification of knowledge. In addition, the thesis explores the interplay between individual and group levels in an effort to illuminate how the degree of specialization of the individual finds application in different group compositions....
    Original languageEnglish
    Number of pages146
    Publication statusPublished - 18 May 2011

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