This paper investigates the role and potential of team collaboration in computational design algorithms. Organizational studies have shown that effectively structuring available resources and knowledge can significantly improve a system’s collective computational capacity, flexibility, and efficiency, and thereby improve problem-solving capacity. Nevertheless, studies in computational distributed problem solving rarely take organizational effects into account. Based on findings in the Organizational Behavior (OB) literature, a computational model of collaborative team-based design is created. This model is tested on a bulk manufacturing process-planning problem previously examined in the literature. The performance of the new team method showed significant improvement: solution quality improved 65% and successful solution identification per unit time increased an entire order of magnitude. A statistical examination of critical algorithm components confirms that agent interdependencies associated with collaboration are the strongest and most consistent performance effects that lead to the observed improvements. This study illustrates that team collaboration can be a highly effective method of improving computation design performance.

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