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Article

Cara-Lynn Scheuer and Catherine Loughlin

Acknowledging that only examining the main effects of diversity may be limiting, the authors explore integrating van Knippenberg et al.'s (2004) categorization–elaboration…

Abstract

Purpose

Acknowledging that only examining the main effects of diversity may be limiting, the authors explore integrating van Knippenberg et al.'s (2004) categorization–elaboration model (CEM) of workgroup diversity as a linchpin in the relationship between empowering leadership and performance in age-diverse work groups. While prior research has focused almost exclusively on the impact of transformational leadership in diverse contexts, few studies have found the positive effects of transformational leadership to be diminished in certain age-diverse contexts. Consequently, the authors investigate whether empowering leadership may be a better approach in this context due to its emphasis on accommodating and participative behaviors.

Design/methodology/approach

Using survey data gathered from work group members across a wide array of industries (N = 214), the authors test for the moderating effects of empowering leadership on the relationship between age diversity and work group performance and its indirect relationship via information elaboration (while controlling for transformational leadership).

Findings

Empowering leadership positively moderated the direct relationship between age diversity and work group performance and the indirect relationship via information elaboration, whereas transformational leadership had the opposite effect. “Coaching” and “showing concern/interacting with the team” drove the positive effects of empowering leadership, and “personal recognition” and “intellectual stimulation” predicted the negative effects of transformational leadership.

Practical implications

This research offers insights into how managers can lead age-diverse work groups more effectively (i.e. by utilizing an empowering as opposed to a transformational leadership approach, with a particular emphasis on “coaching” and “showing concern/interacting with the team” behaviors).

Originality/value

The study identifies an “alternative” moderating contingency to the age diversity–performance relationship (empowering leadership).

Details

Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 42 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7739

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Article

Dimitrios Karolidis and Fotis Vouzas

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the concept of work group diversity dynamics as a novel approach for studying diverse work groups. The authors profile the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to introduce the concept of work group diversity dynamics as a novel approach for studying diverse work groups. The authors profile the dynamic processes within diverse work-groups and provide an overview of main objectives.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on years of accumulated diversity research to cast a temporal and dynamic lens on the processes taking place within diverse work groups. After outlining the state of the art in work group diversity research, the definition, overall framework and profile of work group diversity dynamics is offered.

Findings

The paper argues that by adopting a temporal and dynamic perspective for studying diverse work groups, one can shift focus from the traditional perspective of “what is diversity” to “what happens within diverse work groups”. The paper disentangles the activities taking place within diverse work groups, defines the actual team processes and finally highlights how these processes might be affected by time and dynamism.

Originality/value

After almost 30 years of diversity research the mechanisms and processes through which diversity is translated into individual and organizational outcomes are not yet sufficiently understood and studied. This paper highlights a temporal and dynamic perspective for studying work group diversity, a view that is yet uncharted in diversity literature.

Details

Team Performance Management: An International Journal, vol. 25 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7592

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Book part

Jacob Lauring, Jan Selmer and Karsten Jonsen

We aim to explore whether demographic groups of varying status positions differ in terms of their perception of work group members’ openness to deep-level and…

Abstract

Purpose

We aim to explore whether demographic groups of varying status positions differ in terms of their perception of work group members’ openness to deep-level and surface-level diversity. We also explore the effect that task group conflict and relational group conflict have on perceptions of openness to diversity.

Design/Methodology/Approach

Quantitative analysis of responses from 489 academics in multicultural university departments is applied. A comparison is made of different demographic groups based on age, nationality, and seniority with regard to perceptions of work group members’ openness to diversity. Specifically, we focused on perceptions of the work group’s openness to value dissimilarity (deep-level) and openness to visible dissimilarity (surface-level).

Findings

We found that there are indeed differences between demographic groups with regard to perceptions of the work group’s openness to value dissimilarities. No significant differences could be found in relation to openness to visual dissimilarities for any of the demographic sub-samples. We also found that there were differential effects of contextual adverse circumstances in the form of relational group conflict and task group conflict on the perceptions of the two types of work group openness to diversity.

Practical Implications

The knowledge that different demographical groups perceive their peers’ openness to diversity differently is an important insight when decisions regarding diversity issues have to be taken.

Originality/Value

Few studies have focused on perceptions of diversity. This is an important omission because individuals often act upon their perceptions, rather than on objective reality.

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Book part

Aparna Joshi and Hyuntak Roh

Several comprehensive reviews are united in drawing the conclusion that the cumulative research evidence on work team diversity is equivocal. Rather than review the extant…

Abstract

Several comprehensive reviews are united in drawing the conclusion that the cumulative research evidence on work team diversity is equivocal. Rather than review the extant state of diversity research, in this paper we redirect attention to the context of workplace diversity as a possible explanation for these mixed findings. We discuss how diversity context may be conceptualized, specify various aspects of this context at multiple levels of analysis, and consider how contextual variables can shape the outcomes of work team diversity. We present findings from a literature review (1999–2006) to identify key trends and patterns of results reported in recent research as well as contextual factors that have received attention to date. This paper also considers how the non-significant, positive, negative, and curvilinear effects of diversity reported in studies can be explained by the contextual factors outlined. Implications for future research are also discussed.

Details

Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-7623-1432-4

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Article

Gergana Todorova, Matthew R.W. Brake and Laurie R. Weingart

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of enriched group work design and objective and perceived expertise diversity in interdisciplinary research groups with a…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of enriched group work design and objective and perceived expertise diversity in interdisciplinary research groups with a focus on two critical group processes: task conflict and idea sharing.

Design/methodology/approach

Survey data were collected from 148 researchers and their advisors in 29 research labs at two doctorate-granting universities. The study tested the hypothesized model using hierarchical ordinary least squares regression and hierarchical linear modeling.

Findings

Results showed that objective and perceived (salient) expertise diversity jointly influenced task conflict. In addition, whether task conflict had a positive or negative impact on idea sharing depended on group work design enrichment and expertise diversity salience. Idea sharing improved group outcomes over and above the effects of task conflict.

Research limitations/implications

Although this study could not test the causal relationships owing to a cross-sectional nature of data, it provides theoretical implications for the group work design, diversity and conflict literature.

Practical implications

Group work design represents an important tool for stimulating idea sharing in research groups. The findings suggest that managers should consider and manage the level of expertise diversity salience and the level of task conflict to increase the effectiveness of group work design.

Originality/value

The study provides insights on when task conflict may help creative groups. Work design and diversity salience represent important contextual features. The paper also examines both the objective and perceived diversity and disentangles task conflict and idea sharing.

Details

International Journal of Conflict Management, vol. 31 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1044-4068

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Article

Sagi Akron, Ofek Feinblit, Shlomo Hareli and Shay S. Tzafrir

The purpose of this study was to explore the relation between diversity in work group members’ employment arrangements and the actual performance of the work groups.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to explore the relation between diversity in work group members’ employment arrangements and the actual performance of the work groups.

Design/methodology/approach

A field study was conducted on 31 work groups in a public plant belonging to the industrial sector that constitute a unique data set. The 441 employees are contracted under four significantly different employment arrangements and are mixed together in heterogeneous work groups, but perform similar tasks.

Findings

The results indicated that the influence of employment arrangement diversity on work group performance is best represented as variation, and work arrangements diversity is positively correlated with improved work group performance.

Research limitations

The study design prevented assessment of employees’ opinions. Rather, the authors used objective type of employment arrangements as the basis for calculating diversity as separation. Using mean Euclidean distance as suggested by Harrison and Klein (2007), the authors arbitrarily set the distance between two different employment arrangements as one.

Practical implications

The research results help in the stages of recruiting, structuring and development and application of necessary work team. Formal emphasis of diversity in work arrangements improves performance.

Originality/value

To the authors’ knowledge, this is one of the first studies using unique data set analyzing real-life team diversity and performance in the public sector. The research highly contributes to organizational decision-making processes regarding the importance of incorporating non-standard work arrangements in organizations. Management’s implementation of formal diversity seems to alleviate the negative sides of diversity and increases its positive performance effects.

Details

Team Performance Management, vol. 22 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7592

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Article

Jeff Crawford and Lori N.K. Leonard

This study seeks to determine factors that encourage post‐meeting work activity in a software development group by assessing attendee diversity (functional, staffing and…

Abstract

Purpose

This study seeks to determine factors that encourage post‐meeting work activity in a software development group by assessing attendee diversity (functional, staffing and tenure), meeting size, and meeting history.

Design/methodology/approach

One year's worth of meeting data from a software development group in a US‐based financial services company were collected and analyzed. A binary logistic regression analysis was utilized to determine the impact of diversity, meeting size, and meeting history on the likelihood of post‐meeting work activity.

Findings

Tenure diversity and meeting history for each meeting event significantly contribute to the likelihood of post‐meeting work activity.

Research limitations/implications

A lack of variance in the data does not allow for the examination of staffing diversity. Further, generalizability of findings is limited since data come entirely from one organization. Findings suggest that meeting characteristics, specifically tenure diversity and meeting history, can improve the likelihood of post‐meeting work activity occurring.

Practical implications

Findings illustrate that management can leverage tenure diversity and meeting history within a software development group to encourage post‐meeting work activity.

Originality/value

All organizations employ meetings, and research that clarifies how to extract maximum value from meeting events is critical. This study provides a first step in uncovering specific meeting characteristics which are most likely to impact post‐meeting work activity.

Details

Team Performance Management: An International Journal, vol. 18 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7592

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Abstract

Details

The Emerald Review of Industrial and Organizational Psychology
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78743-786-9

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Article

Cara-Lynn Scheuer and Catherine Loughlin

The purpose of this paper is to help organizations capitalize on the potential advantages of age diversity by offering insight into two new moderators in the age diversity

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to help organizations capitalize on the potential advantages of age diversity by offering insight into two new moderators in the age diversity, work group performance relationship – status congruity and cognition-based trust.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors surveyed 197 employees and 56 supervisors across 59 work groups to test for the moderating effects of status congruity and cognition-based trust on the age diversity, work group performance relationship.

Findings

The results demonstrated, on the one hand, that under conditions of status congruity (i.e. when there were high levels of perceived status legitimacy and veridicality) and/or when perceptions of cognition-based trust were high within the group, the relationship between age diversity and work group performance was positive. On the other hand, under conditions of status incongruity and/or low levels of cognition-based trust, this relationship was negative.

Research limitations/implications

The findings contribute to the literature by being the first to provide empirical evidence for the theorized effects of status on the performance of age-diverse work groups and also by demonstrating the effects of cognition-based trust in a new context – age-diverse work groups.

Practical implications

Arising from the study’s findings are several strategies, which are expected to help organizations enhance perceptions of status congruity and/or trust and ultimately the performance of their age-diverse work groups.

Originality/value

The paper is the first to empirically demonstrate the moderating effects of status congruity and cognition-based trust on the age diversity, work group performance relationship. The study also establishes important distinctions between the effects of objective status differences vs status perceptions.

Details

Evidence-based HRM: a Global Forum for Empirical Scholarship, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-3983

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Book part

Patrick F. McKay and Derek R. Avery

Over the past decade, the U.S. workforce has become increasingly diverse. In response, scholars and practitioners have sought to uncover ways to leverage this increasing…

Abstract

Over the past decade, the U.S. workforce has become increasingly diverse. In response, scholars and practitioners have sought to uncover ways to leverage this increasing diversity to enhance business performance. To date, research evidence has failed to provide consistent support for the value of diversity to organizational effectiveness. Accordingly, scholars have shifted their attention to diversity management as a means to fully realize the potential benefits of diversity in organizations. The principal aim of this chapter is to review the current wisdom on the study of diversity climate in organizations. Defined as the extent that employees view an organization as utilizing fair personnel practices and socially integrating all personnel into the work environment, diversity climate has been proposed as a catalyst for unlocking the full value of diversity in organizations. During our review, we discuss the existent individual- and aggregate-level research, describe the theoretical foundations of such work, summarize the key research findings and themes gleaned from work in each domain, and note the limitations of diversity climate research. Finally, we highlight the domains of uncertainty regarding diversity climate research, and offer recommendations for future work that can enhance knowledge of diversity climate effects on organizational outcomes.

Details

Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-016-6

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