International collaboration, mobility and team diversity in the life sciences: impact on research performance
23 Jun 2008
1School of Business, University of Applied Sciences, Olten, Switzerland
2empirica, Gesellschaft für Kommunikations- und Technologieforschung mbH, Bonn, Germany
Abstract. The combination of knowledge and skills from different backgrounds or research cultures is often considered good for science. This paper describes the extent to which academic research teams in the life sciences draw on knowledge from different research cultures and how this is related to their research performance. We distinguish between international collaboration of research teams from different countries and cultural diversity of research teams resulting from team members with different countries of origin. Our results show that the most successful teams have a moderate level of cultural diversity; in addition, successful teams engage in collaboration activities with teams from other European countries and the US leading to joint publications. These results have implications for research team management and for research policy, in particular in relation to supporting measures for mobile scientists.