Seminario di Børge Obel
Building a collaborative community: an agent-based simulation study
(co-authored by Dorthe Døjbak Håkonsson, Lars Bach, Charles Snow and Børge Obel)
Seminario di Børge Obel, Aarhus University, Denmark
A collaborative community is an emerging organizational form that is increasingly being used in knowledge-intensive environments where success depends on the ability to collaborate. We analyze how community member composition influences the development of a collaborative community with two kinds of members: problem providers and problem solvers. In an agent-based simulation study, we examine how the dynamics and survival of a collaborative community are affected by: (a) the initial number of agents of each kind and (b) the types and levels of skills agents possess. The simulation results show an early drop in the number of community members followed by continued growth in community size. Independent of the number of members of each kind at the formation of the community, the number of members of both kinds is approximately the same during the growth phase. The community’s growth rate depends on agent skills (both type and quality). The results suggest that homogeneous communities experience a small drop in the number of members during the early phase. Heterogeneous communities show a larger drop early on, but tend to converge to a higher average agent skill level than a homogeneous community. Sensitivity analyses demonstrate that the simulation results are consistently robust. Our use of the simulation method allows us to explain the behavior of a collaborative community over time, and we discuss the implications of our findings for building collaborative communities.