Productivity in an era of multi-teaming: The role of information dashboards and shared cognition in team performance

Pranav Gupta, Anita Williams Woolley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


When and why do information dashboards enhance team productivity? We explore this question in the context of project teams whose members have to work across multiple teams at the same time. We expected multi-teaming, especially that involving a high variety in team members, would have a negative effect on team performance by impairing a team’s transactive memory system (TMS), a critical form of shared cognition allowing members to keep track of who knows what. Further, we expected the use of an information dashboard with member skills could combat the harmful effects of high-variety multi-teaming. To test our hypotheses experimentally, we developed an online game (Knowledge Worker’s Dilemma) that simulates the coordination decisions that professionals face in app development teams. Results show multi-teaming hurt team performance by reducing TMS; use of an information dashboard benefited high-variety teams and, surprisingly, hurt the performance of low-variety teams. Potential explanations and implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number62
JournalProceedings of the ACM on Human-Computer Interaction
Issue numberCSCW
StatePublished - Nov 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Information dashboards
  • Multi-teaming
  • Shared cognition
  • Team performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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