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International experiential diversity and performance at project organizations: The case of national football teams

Winfried Ruigrok (Research Institute for International Management, University of St Gallen, St Gallen, Switzerland)
Peder Greve (Research Institute for International Management, University of St Gallen, St Gallen, Switzerland)
Martin Engeler (Research Institute for International Management, University of St Gallen, St Gallen, Switzerland)

Sport, Business and Management

ISSN: 2042-678X

Article publication date: 11 October 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to shed new light on the link between diversity in project teams and team performance by examining the effects of players’ international career diversity on the performance of national football teams.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws upon the literature on project organizations and experiential diversity in teams. Using data on players’ international career backgrounds and team performance from the FIFA World Cup 2006, the authors test two hypotheses linking experiential diversity in teams and a measure of relative team performance. The dataset includes detailed individual background profiles of the 736 participating players and performance data from the 64 games played at the tournament.

Findings

The findings suggest that different types of experiential diversity have contrasting effects on team performance in a time‐limited project team setting.

Research limitations/implications

These findings encourage team diversity researchers to further examine the impact of experiential diversity in teams on team process and performance outcomes in future research.

Practical implications

The findings particularly highlight the need to carefully manage experiential diversity in project team settings in order to benefit from access to diverse tacit resources, while at the same time avoiding that the integrative capacities of teams becoming overstretched.

Originality/value

The paper is a step towards a better understanding of how diversity of individual career backgrounds affects team performance outcomes in project teams.

Keywords

Citation

Ruigrok, W., Greve, P. and Engeler, M. (2011), "International experiential diversity and performance at project organizations: The case of national football teams", Sport, Business and Management, Vol. 1 No. 3, pp. 267-283. https://doi.org/10.1108/20426781111162675

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited