Forming effective worker teams with multi-functional skill requirements

Erin L. Fitzpatrick, Ronald Askin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

132 Scopus citations


Throughout much of the past century, manufacturing efficiencies were gained by constructing systems from independently designed and optimized tasks. Recent theories and practice have extolled the virtues of team-based practices that rely on human flexibility and empowerment to improve integrated system performance. The formation of teams requires consideration of innate tendencies and interpersonal skills as well as technical skills. In this project we develop and test mathematical models for formation of effective human teams. Team membership is selected to ensure sufficient breadth and depth of technical skills. In addition, measures of worker conative tendencies are used along with empirical results on desirable team mix to form maximally effective teams. A mathematical programming formulation for the team selection problem is presented. A heuristic solution is proposed and evaluated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)593-608
Number of pages16
JournalComputers and Industrial Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 15 2005


  • Cellular manufacturing
  • Employee empowerment
  • Heuristics
  • Mathematical programming
  • Team performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)


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