Interacting Dimensions of Diversity: Cross-Categorization and the Effects of Informational Diversity
31 Pages Posted: 1 Jun 2005
Date Written: June 1, 2005
When does informational diversity enhance team functioning? Prior research has found both positive and negative effects of informational diversity. We conducted an experiment to show how the interplay between informational and demographic diversity can account for some of these inconsistencies. In the context of a group decision-making task, 70 four-person groups received either a homogeneous or a heterogeneous set of information. Further, groups were either homogeneous or heterogeneous on gender (i.e., four [fe]males vs. two males and two females). In the gender diverse groups the heterogeneous information was either converged with gender (two males received information set A and two females received set B) or crossed with gender (one male and one female received set A, and one male and one female received set B). Results showed that informational diversity enhanced team functioning when it was crossed rather than converged with demographic diversity.
Keywords: Diversity, teams, group processes
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