On the Same Side of the Faultline: Inclusion in the Leader's Subgroup and Employee Performance

27 Pages Posted: 8 Apr 2015

See all articles by Bertolt Meyer

Bertolt Meyer

Chemnitz University of Technology (CUT)

Meir Shemla

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM)

Jia Li

Maastricht University

Jürgen Wegge

University of Munich - Department of Psychology; Dresden University of Technology

Date Written: May 2015

Abstract

Extending theory on faultlines and subgroups, we argue that faultlines splitting a team into homogeneous subgroups can have different effects on team members' individual performance, depending on different intra‐subgroup processes. Specifically, we propose that the effect of faultline strength on individual performance depends on whether a team member's subgroup includes the team leader. Building on the notion of faultline triggers, we further propose that organizational crises exacerbate this interaction because they make social support by the team leader especially important. We tested these assumptions with objective performance data collected over a period of four years from 3263 financial consultants (325 teams) while controlling for the effects of relational demography. Results showed that in teams with strong faultlines, consultants' performance decreased to a lesser extent in crisis years if the consultants shared a subgroup with their team leader. Thus, faultlines had different effects on team members from different subgroups.

Keywords: faultlines, leadership, performance, subgroups, teams

Suggested Citation

Meyer, Bertolt and Shemla, Meir and Li, Jia and Wegge, Jürgen, On the Same Side of the Faultline: Inclusion in the Leader's Subgroup and Employee Performance (May 2015). Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 52, Issue 3, pp. 354-380, 2015, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2591688 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/joms.12118

Bertolt Meyer (Contact Author)

Chemnitz University of Technology (CUT) ( email )

Chemnitz
Germany

Meir Shemla

Erasmus University Rotterdam (EUR) - Rotterdam School of Management (RSM)

P.O. Box 1738
Room T08-21
3000 DR Rotterdam, 3000 DR
Netherlands

Jia Li

Maastricht University

P.O. Box 616
Maastricht, Limburg 6200MD
Netherlands

Jürgen Wegge

University of Munich - Department of Psychology ( email )

Geschwister-Scholl-Platz 1
Munich, DE Bavaria 80539
Germany

Dresden University of Technology ( email )

Einsteinstrasse 3
Dresden, 01062
Germany

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