Demographic diversity, processes and outcomes: an integrated multilevel framework

Sadia Mansoor (Business School, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)
Erica French (Business School, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)
Muhammad Ali (Business School, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia)

Management Research Review

ISSN: 2040-8269

Publication date: 5 October 2019



A narrow focus of past diversity research and inconsistent findings have contributed to a lack of understanding of how to manage diversity for positive outcomes. Focusing on age, gender and ethnic diversity, this paper aims to review literature on group objective demographic diversity and individual perceived demographic diversity to present an integrated multilevel framework for our improved understanding and to present testable propositions.


The authors conducted a thorough review of 51 empirical studies of demographic diversity at individual and group levels to propose a multilevel framework.


Drawing on information elaboration theory, social categorization theory and social identity theory, an integrated multilevel framework is proposed at individual and group levels. The framework suggests that demographic diversity (age, gender and ethnicity) aids positive information elaboration processes, while also causing negative social categorization processes. These processes impact individual and group outcomes. The framework also identifies moderating factors not sufficiently addressed in the demographic diversity literature. Propositions and implications for future research in the field of demographic diversity are presented.


This review provides an integrated multilevel framework of objective and perceived demographic diversity and its positive and negative processes and effects at both individual and group levels, drawn from information elaboration, social categorization and social identity theories.



Mansoor, S., French, E. and Ali, M. (2019), "Demographic diversity, processes and outcomes: an integrated multilevel framework", Management Research Review, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print.

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