Who defers to whom and why? Dual pathways linking demographic differences and dyadic deference to team effectiveness

Aparna Joshi, Andrew P. Knight

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Scopus citations

Abstract

We develop and test predictions about how demographic differences influence dyadic deference in multidisciplinary research teams, and how differential patterns of dyadic deference emerge to shape team-level effectiveness. We present a dual pathway model that recognizes that two distinct mechanisms-task contributions and social affinity- account for how team members' demographic attributes contribute to deference. Furthermore, we propose that the extent to which these different mechanisms are prevalent in a team has implications for the team's research productivity, with deference based on social affinity detracting from it and deference based on task contributions enhancing it. Using longitudinal data from a sample of 55 multidisciplinary research teams comprising 619 scientists, we found general support for our conceptual model. Our findings underscore the importance of accounting for multiple interpersonal mechanisms to understand the complex, multilevel nature of deference in teams.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-84
Number of pages26
JournalAcademy of Management Journal
Volume58
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

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