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Arne Thomas wins BeNA Innovative Research Award 2016


In the academic year 2015/2016, the 3nd BeNA Innovative Research Award was awarded to Arne Thomas (TU Berlin & ESMT) for his paper “When the Magic’s Gone: How Key Player Absence A ffects Team Performance” (joint with Linus Dahlander).

Together with Arne, Malte Preuß (FU Berlin & University of Potsdam) and Mathias Hübener (DIW) were nominated for the award. We are grateful to Prof. Daniel Schnitzlein for his support in determining the award winner. Here is the short report on the paper:

“Given the high incidence of team based work in modern labour markets, the paper covers a very interesting and highly relvant topic in the question how the absence of important team members influence team performance. Based on exceptional detailed data on team composition and both individual and team performance from NBA teams, the authors find an overall negative effect of key player absence on team performance that is even more pronounced in the case, the key player is important in both dimensions defined by the authors, productivity and helpfulness.

The paper is clearly written and very well executed. The authors show a high level of accuracy in gathering their very detailed data from different sources. The authors clearly formulate their hypotheses based on theoretical considerations and carry them through their full paper. The empirical strategy shows a very high level of professional skills in the attempt to identify a causal effect. The paper also presents a variety of very convincing robustness tests (not only in the robustness test section). Overall another impressive characteristic of the paper is, that the paper is written in a way that as a reader, you are really interested to read through the full paper since each section clearly contributes to the story the authors want to tell.”