When a community elects leaders (a board of trustees, moderators, officers, etc), that community must first determine a voting scheme. There are lots of different voting schemes out there, and they can support electing one or more than one person. For example, my congregation elects its board of trustees using first past the post, choosing the top N finishers where N is the number of seats. Most government elections in the US also use first past the post. On the other hand, Stack Exchange uses a form of single transferable vote (preference ballot where you rank all or your top N choices) to elect community moderators, whether choosing one or several, and I've been told of a local school board that elects its members this way.
This question is not about which voting scheme is "best"; that's subjective and context-dependent. But I found myself thinking about voting dynamics recently, particularly with STV systems, and I realized that STV was really designed for electing one candidate (it's a single transferable vote, not a collection of votes, after all), and that got me wondering if the properties of such elections are different if you're electing multiple candidates.
So my question is: how does the number of candidates inform the choice of voting scheme for elections? Does this really not matter, and you should choose STV or FPtP or drawing names from a hat or whatever based on the other properties of those systems, or do voting systems behave differently with different numbers of open positions? I understand that there is a whole field of sociology and/or game theory about voting systems; are there studies that address this question and, if so, what do they say?