A Taxonomy of Team-Assembly Systems: Understanding How People Use Technologies to Form Teams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The emergence of team-assembly technologies has brought with it new challenges in designing and implementing socio-technical systems. Our understanding of how systems shape the team-assembly processes is still limited. How do systems enable users to find teammates? How do users make decisions when using these systems? And what factors explain the characteristics of the teams assembled? Building on existing literature from CSCW, computer science, and management science, we propose a taxonomy to characterize how systems influence team assembly. This taxonomy argues that two dimensions determine how systems shape team assembly: (i) users? agency, to what extent the system enables its users to exercise their agency, and (ii) users? participation, how many users the system allows to participate in the team-formation process. The intersection of these two dimensions manifest four types of teams enabled by systems: self-assembled teams, staffed teams, optimized teams, and augmented teams. We characterize each one of these types of teams, considering their qualities, advantages, and challenges. To contextualize these types of teams, we map the current literature of team-assembly systems using a scoping literature review. Lastly, we discuss ways through which these two dimensions alter users' behavior, team diversity, and team composition. This paper provides theoretical implications and research questions for future systems that reconfigure the organization of people into teams.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number181
JournalProceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction
Issue numberCSCW2
StatePublished - Oct 14 2020


  • algorithms
  • conceptual framework
  • diversity
  • team assembly
  • team formation
  • teams

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Networks and Communications


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