Episode #017: Collective Intelligence in Teams | Special Guests: Dr. Anita Williams Wooley and Pranav Gupta

by Dr. Krister Lowe | Dr. Ruth Wageman | Dr. Anita Williams Woolley | Pranav Gupta on


This episode is the first in a series inviting researchers onto the podcast to share their leading edge work that is advancing our understanding of teams and team effectiveness.

In this episode show hosts Ruth Wageman and Krister Lowe interview Dr. Anita Williams Woolley and Pranav Gupta on the subject of collective intelligence in collaboration and teams. Anita Williams Wooley is an Associate Professor at Carnegie Mellon Tepper School of Business an organizational psychologist who studies collective intelligence and collaboration in groups and teams. Pranav Gupta is a PhD Student in Organizational Behavior at Carnegie Mellon whose research focuses on understanding the emergence of intelligent behavior in digitally-augmented teams. Some themes explored in the episode include:

  • Anita’s work with Richard Hackman on action-based research in the intelligence community following 9-11 that led to her interest in collective intelligence
  • Pranav’s background building robots and software and the challenge of getting people to collaborate effectively and how this led to his interest in the “design of social systems.”
  • Defining “collective intelligence”
  • Team composition and collective intelligence: the role of “social perceptiveness” and “collaboration behaviors”
  • Theory of mind in teams
  • Diversity (gender, ethnic, cognitive, age) in teams and the role of coaching interventions
  • Change in environments and adaptiveness in teams: trade offs in the functions of reasoning, attention and memory
  • The role of team coaching and key task processes in fostering collective intelligence
  • The role of technology and AI to augment team processes
  • Is AI acting as a coach, manager, or team member in teams?
  • The relative influence of composition and key task processes in collective intelligence
  • Overcoming the lack of ideal composition in teams


Learn more about Anita and Pranav:
Read more