Bridging Faultlines by Valuing Diversity: Diversity Beliefs, Information Elaboration, and Performance in Diverse Work Groups
41 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2007
Date Written: September 1, 2006
Although there are numerous potential benefits to diversity in work groups, converging dimensions of diversity often prevent groups from exploiting this potential. In a study of heterogeneous decision-making groups, we examined whether the disruptive effects of diversity faultlines can be overcome by convincing groups of the value in diversity. Groups were either persuaded of the value of diversity or of the value of similarity for group performance, and they were provided with either homogeneous or heterogeneous information. As expected, informationally diverse groups performed better when they held pro-diversity rather than pro-similarity beliefs, whereas the performance of informationally homogeneous groups was unaffected by diversity beliefs. This effect was mediated by group-level information elaboration. Implications for diversity management in organizations are discussed.
Keywords: Diversity, Diversity Beliefs, Faultlines, Information Elaboration, Team Performance
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