The language of bias: A linguistic approach to understanding intergroup relations

Diversity and Groups

ISBN: 978-1-84855-052-0, eISBN: 978-1-84855-053-7

ISSN: 1534-0856

Publication date: 1 August 2008


This chapter explores the role of language in the relationship between diversity and team performance. Specifically, we consider how a linguistic approach to social categorization may be used to study the social psychological mechanisms that underlie diversity effects. Using the results of a study examining the effects of gender, ethnicity and tenure on language abstraction, we consider the potential implications for team processes and effectiveness. In addition, we propose a revised team input-process-output model that highlights the potential effects of language on team processes. We conclude by suggesting directions for future research linking diversity, linguistic categorization, and team effectiveness.


Roberson, Q.M., Bell, B. and Porter, S.C. (2008), "The language of bias: A linguistic approach to understanding intergroup relations", Phillips, K.W. (Ed.) Diversity and Groups (Research on Managing Groups and Teams, Vol. 11), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 267-294.



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