Surface- and deep-level diversity in workgroups: Examining the moderating effects of team orientation and team process on relationship conflict

Susan Mohammed, Linda C. Angell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

234 Scopus citations

Abstract

The increased use of teams in organizations, coupled with an increasingly diverse workforce, strongly suggests that we should learn more about how team diversity affects functioning and performance. The purpose of this study was to explore the differential impact of surface-level diversity (gender, ethnicity), deep-level diversity (time urgency, extraversion), and two moderating variables (team orientation, team process) on relationship conflict over time. Hypotheses were tested by tracking 45 student project teams in a longitudinal design. Results revealed that team orientation and team process moderated the diversity-conflict link. Specifically, team orientation helped to neutralize the negative effects of surface-level (gender) diversity on relationship conflict. In a similar manner, team processes worked to weaken the deleterious effects of deep-level diversity (time urgency) on relationship conflict. In addition, relationship conflict resulted in lower perceived performance by team members.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1015-1039
Number of pages25
JournalJournal of Organizational Behavior
Volume25
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology(all)
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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