Connected: The surprising power of our social networks and how they shape our lives, in which sociologist, Brian Uzzi, describes how creative teams (musical productions) function:
Uzzi found that teams made up of individuals who had never before worked together fared poorly, greatly increasing the chance of a flop. These networks were not well connected and contained mostly weak ties. At the other extreme, groups made up of individuals who had all worked together previously also tended to create musicals that were unsuccessful. Because these groups lacked creative input from the outside, they tended to rehash the same ideas that they used the first time they worked together. In between, however, Uzzi once again found a sweet spot that combines the diversity of new team members with the stability of previously formed relationship. The networks that best exhibited the small-world property were those that had the greatest success.
Production company networks with a mix of weak and strong ties allowed easy communication but also fostered greater creativity because of the ideas of new members of the group and the synergies they created. Thus, the structure of the network appears to have a strong effect on both financial and critical success.