Dream Teams and the Apollo Effect

29 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2017

See all articles by Alex Gershkov

Alex Gershkov

Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Paul Schweinzer

University of Klagenfurt

Date Written: March 06, 2017


We model leadership selection, competition, and decision making in teams with heterogeneous membership composition. We show that if the choice of leadership in a team is imprecise or noisy—which may arguably be the case if appointment decisions are made by non-expert administrators—then it is not necessarily the case that the best individuals should be selected as team members. On the contrary, and in line with what has been called the “Apollo effect,” a “dream team” consisting of unambiguously higher performing individuals may perform worse in terms of team output than a group composed of lower performers. We characterize the properties of the leadership selection and production processes which lead to the Apollo effect and clarify when the opposite effect occurs in which supertalent performs better than comparatively less qualified groups.

Keywords: team composition, leadership, mistakes

JEL Classification: C700, D700, J800

Suggested Citation

Gershkov, Alex and Schweinzer, Paul, Dream Teams and the Apollo Effect (March 06, 2017). CESifo Working Paper Series No. 6381, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2941446

Alex Gershkov

Hebrew University of Jerusalem ( email )

Mount Scopus
Jerusalem, Jerusalem 91905

HOME PAGE: http://pluto.huji.ac.il/~alexg/

Paul Schweinzer (Contact Author)

University of Klagenfurt ( email )

Universitätsstrasse 65-67
Klagenfurt, Carinthia A-9020

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