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Given that women continue to be underrepresented in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) and that scientific innovations are increasingly produced by team collaborations, we reviewed the existing literature regarding the effects of gender diversity on team processes and performance. Recent evidence strongly suggests that team collaboration is greatly improved by the presence of women in the group, and this effect is primarily explained by benefits to group processes. The evidence concerning the effect of gender diversity on team performance is more equivocal and contingent upon a variety of contextual factors. In light of the importance of collaboration in science, promoting the role of women in the field can have positive practical consequences for science and technology.
© Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining 2011 DOI 10.1179/030801811X13013181961473
Published by Maney on behalf of the Institute
INTERDISCIPLINARY SCIENCE REVIEWS, Vol. 36 No. 2, June, 2011, 146–53
The Role of Gender in Team
Collaboration and Performance
Julia B Bear
Technion — Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel
Anita Williams Woolley
Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA
Given that women continue to be underrepresented in STEM (Science,
Technology, Engineering and Math) and that scientific innovations are
increasingly produced by team collaborations, we reviewed the existing
literature regarding the effects of gender diversity on team processes and
performance. Recent evidence strongly suggests that team collaboration is
greatly improved by the presence of women in the group, and this effect is
primarily explained by benefits to group processes. The evidence concerning
the effect of gender diversity on team performance is more equivocal and
contingent upon a variety of contextual factors. In light of the importance of
collaboration in science, promoting the role of women in the field can have
positive practical consequences for science and technology.
keywords Collective intelligence, Team work, Women in science, Gender
diversity of teams, Team performance
Women continue to be underrepresented in STEM (Science, Technology,
Engineering and Math) on multiple levels, ranging from undergraduate and
graduate enrolment to positions in industry and at universities (National
Science Foundation 2009). Though some progress has been made to close this
gender gap in the past few decades with women’s enrollment increasing in
Bachelors and Masters degree programmes, the gap persists, especially in
managerial and other top-level positions in both corporations and academe.
A variety of reasons have been given for this gender gap, including bias and
discrimination, a lack of role models, differential access to social networks,
and issues related to work-life balance and family responsibilities (Blackwell
et al. 2009; Blickenstaff 2005; Fox 1991; Kyvik and Teigen 1996; Sonnert et al.
2007). In light of these potential causes, governments and universities conduct
mentoring and career development programmes for women specifically
aimed at closing this gap (Blickenstaff 2005; Cronin and Roger 1999). Thus,
the causes and proposed solutions are primarily framed on the individual
level, i.e. in terms of the way individual women confront these issues (Corley
2005). However, scientific work is not conducted in isolation, and scholars
have also pointed out the necessity of institutional solutions for closing the
gender gap (Corley 2005).
We maintain that, between the individual and institutional levels, there is
another level that plays a crucial role in scientific work — teams. Indeed, a
recent review of decades of scientific articles and patent applications has
revealed that our most important scientific innovations are increasingly
produced by collaborating teams (Wuchty et al. 2007). Moreover, recent
evidence strongly suggests that group collaboration is greatly improved by
the presence of women in the group (Woolley et al. 2010). Taken together,
these recent findings imply that promoting the role of women in STEM can
have positive consequences for scientific productivity by enhancing the
quality of collaboration taking place in teams. Thus, in order to both promote
more successful collaborations as well as improve our understanding of the
persistent gender gap in science, it is important to examine the effect of
gender diversity on team collaborations. With these aims in mind, we review
the existing evidence regarding the effects of gender diversity on team
processes and performance.
Effects of gender diversity on team process and performance
Does gender diversity matter for team processes and performance? This
question has been the subject of numerous empirical studies, meta-analyses
and literature reviews (e.g. Baugh and Graen 1997; Bowers et al. 2000;
Chatman and O’Reilly 2004; Ely and Thomas 2001; Jackson et al. 2003; Joshi
and Roh 2009; Mannix and Neale 2005; Myaskovsky et al. 2005; Pelled 1996;
Stewart 2006; Webber and Donahue 2001). Overall, existing research suggests
that gender diversity can have a positive effect on group process, while its
effect on performance is fairly equivocal and dependent to some degree upon
the context of the work.
In terms of group process, recent evidence strongly suggests that group
collaboration, as indexed by collective intelligence, is greatly improved by
the presence of women in the group (Woolley et al. 2010). The collective
intelligence of a system resides in the connections among the units and their
patterns of behaviour (Losada and Heaphy 2004). Collectively intelligent
patterns of behaviour are responsive to the accomplishment of desired
outcomes, rather than the mindless enactment of prescribed processes or
routines. This is akin to the ‘heedful interrelating’ discussed by Weick and
Roberts (1993) as supportive of the development of collective mind. ‘Heedful
performance is not the same thing as habitual performance. In habitual
action, each performance is a replica of its predecessor, whereas in heedful
performance, each action is modified by its predecessor (Weick and Roberts
1993, 362). Thus, collective intelligence is evident in the consistency of the
outcome quality a collective produces across domains, as a result of the
responsiveness of members to one another and to the shifting performance
contingencies in dynamic situations.
Woolley et al. (2010) found that the proportion of women in a group is
strongly related to the group’s measured collective intelligence. Upon further
examination, they found that the effects were explained in part by the higher
levels of social sensitivity exhibited by women, based on their greater ability
to read nonverbal cues and make accurate inferences about what others are
feeling or thinking. Groups with more women also exhibited greater equality
in conversational turn-taking, further enabling the group members to be
responsive to one another and to make the best use of the knowledge and
skills of members.
The findings of Woolley et al. (2010) are consistent with related research
on the effects of gender diversity on group process. In a study of group
performance in a business simulation, Fenwick and Neal (2001) found that
groups with equal numbers of men and women and/or groups with a greater
number of women than men performed better than homogeneous groups
on a management simulation task, and this effect was explained by more
effective collaborative group processes and cooperative norms. Likewise, a
study by Jehn and Bezrukova reported in Kochan et al. (2003) found that
gender diversity increased constructive group processes. In some cases,
however, the effects of gender diversity on group process also depend to
some extent on context. For example, in a study of a Fortune 500 firm in the
information processing industry by Joshi and Jackson, also reported in
Kochan et al. (2003), the authors initially found no effects for team-level
gender diversity on team cooperation. However, when they included regional
location of the teams in the analysis, they found a positive relationship
between team gender diversity and team cooperation within regions that
were diverse in terms of gender. Thus, contextual effects also play a role in
the effects of gender diversity on team processes.
These findings concerning the effect of gender diversity on group
process are also consistent with past work examining the effect of gender
on interpersonal communication in groups (Carli 2010). For example, in a
meta-analysis comparing men and women in terms of task and interpersonal
styles, Eagly and Johnson (1990) found that women were significantly more
interpersonally oriented than men. Men’s style was more autocratic than
women’s, i.e. involved giving orders, whereas women’s style was more
democratic than men’s, i.e. focused on participation. In addition, when
comparing all-female versus all-male groups, all-female groups demonstrate
more egalitarian behaviours, such as equal amounts of communication
among group members and shared leadership (Berdahl and Anderson 2005;
Schmid-Mast 2001). Finally, in conversation, men display more social
dominance-related behaviour while speaking than women, such as chin
thrusts, gesturing, and direct eye contact, while women engage in more
smiling whether they are speaking or listening (Dovidio et al. 1988).
These different interpersonal styles may help to explain the positive effect
of gender diversity on team processes and collaboration, since greater gender
heterogeneity increases the likelihood of participation among team members.
Research on gender and influence in groups has shown that men‘s and
women’s level of influence is most equal in gender-balanced groups, further
reinforcing the relationship between heterogeneous gender composition of
groups and improved group process (Carli 2001; Craig and Sherif 1986; Taps
and Martin 1990). In addition, in an experimental study in which solo versus
majority status was manipulated (groups with two women and one man and
vice versa), solo women were less talkative than women in the majority
whereas the opposite was true for men (Myaskovsky et al. 2005). Similarly,
gender diversity also appears to have a positive effect on the psychological
experience of group members, with members of heterogeneous groups
reporting greater feelings of efficacy about their tasks (Lee and Farh 2004)
and better morale (Jehn et al. 1999) than members of homogeneous groups. In
sum, gender diversity benefits group processes in a variety of ways, and these
benefits appear to stem from gender differences in attitudes and behaviours
during group interactions.
In evaluating group performance, the effects of gender diversity become
slightly more complex. The results of several meta-analyses have shown
either no effects or slightly negative effects for gender heterogeneity of team
members on team performance, which is typically measured in terms of both
objective performance indicators, such as financial outcomes, as well as
subjective ratings of team effectiveness by team members and/or supervisors
(Bowers et al. 2000; Jackson et al. 2003; Stewart 2006; Webber and Donahue
2001). Other research has shown that the effect of gender diversity on team
performance depends upon a variety of moderators, such as task difficulty
(Bowers et al. 2000), type of team (Stewart 2006), the presence and activation
of social divisions or ‘faultlines’ within the team (Lau and Murnighan 1998;
Pearsall et al. 2008), and the other types of demographic diversity present in
the team (Pelled et al. 1999).
However, some scholars maintain that the preponderance of equivocal
findings does not mean that the effects of gender diversity are non-existent,
but rather that the effects should be investigated in light of organizational
context (Joshi and Roh 2009; Kochan et al. 2003). They argue that, since
empirical work on diversity in teams grew out of self-categorization theory
(Tajfel 1981), which concerns the ways in which the salience of differences
among team members can lead to certain attitudes and behaviours, contextual
factors become paramount for understanding the influence of diversity. In
other words, in male-dominated professions, where women are likely to be in
the significant minority, initially gender diversity is likely to have more
negative effects, given that gender stereotypes are more salient due to the
increased categorization of underrepresented women (Kanter 1977). In
contrast, in gender-balanced professions, negative stereotyping and
categorization by gender are less likely to occur and thus gender diversity
should be less problematic. This point is especially relevant to understanding
the role of gender diversity in STEM, given that most STEM professions tend
to be male-dominated.
Indeed, research shows that in occupations dominated by males, such as
teams of engineers, gender diversity has strong, negative effects on team
performance, whereas in gender-balanced occupations, gender diversity has
significantly positive effects on team performance both in terms of objective
(e.g. financial outcomes, product quality) and subjective (e.g. self-rating,
supervisor rating) measures (Joshi and Roh 2009). These findings are
consistent with the work of Allmendinger and Hackman (1995) on the
integration of women into symphony orchestras. The integration of women
into male-dominated orchestras led to declines in member satisfaction and
social functioning when the proportion of women was below 50%, but as the
proportion increased, those trends flattened or reversed (Allmendinger and
Hackman 1995). This suggests that integrating women into traditionally
male-dominated fields may be difficult initially, but should get better as their
representation approaches parity with men. These effects should accrue as
greater participation of women in a setting allows for negative stereotypes
to fade and for their expertise and contributions to be more accurately
recognized. For example, in examining scientific collaboration more directly,
Joshi (2010) found no effects for gender composition of teams on productivity
and innovation, but found that when women’s influence in the group was
misaligned with their expertise (i.e. they had more expertise than others
attributed to them), the productivity of the team was negatively affected.
Implications for scientific teams
Overall, the findings from the literature concerning the effect of gender
diversity on team performance suggest benefits for team process but mixed
results for team outcomes. Despite the somewhat equivocal nature of the
literature, two consistent themes emerge — the importance of context in
moderating the effects of gender diversity on performance and the generally
positive effects of gender diversity on group processes. Both of these themes
are extremely relevant to scientific work and should also be taken into
consideration in light of the persistent gender gap in STEM.
Given that gender diversity is more likely to have a negative effect on
performance in male-dominated versus gender-balanced industries (Joshi and
Roh 2009), the lack of gender balance in scientific teams may be detrimental
to scientific innovation. Furthermore, the aforementioned research implies
that gender-balanced teams lead to the best outcomes for group process in
terms of men and women having equal influence (Carli 2001; Craig and Sherif
1986; Taps and Martin 1990), participating at an equivalent rate (Myaskovsky
et al. 2005) and being satisfied with their group collaboration experiences
overall (Jehn et al. 1999). Thus, having a few ‘token’ women on scientific
teams does not appear to be sufficient in order to improve performance, and,
based on past research could even have detrimental social consequence in the
short term (Allmendinger and Hackman 1995). In addition, scientific research
is conducted within teams of individuals with varying levels of expertise, in
varying career phases, and with a variety of demographic differences such as
gender, age, ethnicity and national origin. As Joshi (2010) demonstrated, in
this context, the effect of gender on performance may interact with other
dimensions of diversity such as expertise and status within the team, leading
the expertise of women to be underutilized, to the team’s detriment. In sum,
the underrepresentation of women in STEM not only means that scientific
teams may be missing out on female talent, but it also means that the women
who are members of STEM teams may not be participating to their fullest if
they are a significant numerical minority or solo members of teams.
Furthermore, the positive effects of gender diversity on group processes
are extremely relevant to scientific teams, since scientific discoveries are
increasingly the products of team collaboration (Wuchty et al. 2007). As
Woolley et al. (2010) showed, enhanced interaction and communication in
teams with greater numbers of women, as well as egalitarian rather than
autocratic norms, improve group processes, which, in turn, facilitate increased
collective intelligence. Collective intelligence is not correlated with the
intelligence of individual group members but rather with the quality of the
social interaction processes within the group, which are correlated with
the proportion of females in the group. Given the degree to which collective
intelligence predicts performance on innovative tasks as demonstrated by
Woolley et al. (2010), it is critical to higher levels of performance in the
scientific domain.
Gender diversity in STEM is often advocated for social and political reasons.
To be sure, enabling equal access to and participation in STEM fields is a
worthy social goal in and of itself. However, based on the evidence regarding
the effects of gender balance in teams, gender diversity can also enhance
group processes, which are increasingly important as collaboration becomes
a centrepiece in the production of science. The enhancement of group
processes and higher levels of collective intelligence can, in turn, lead to
greater innovation and scientific discovery. Thus, the findings reviewed here
imply that, when evaluating the gender gap in STEM, it is not enough to
simply examine the number of women in a particular institution or role. In
order to reap the rewards of gender diversity, it would be most beneficial to
ensure that women are represented in collaborative scientific teams at parity
to men. Thus, the current focus by universities and industry on individual
women’s career paths as a way to increase the number of professional women
in STEM is laudable. However, in order to be truly effective, the role that
women play in scientific teams should also be taken into consideration and
promoted in order to yield the substantial benefits of increased gender
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Notes on contributors
Dr Julia Bear is currently a Fulbright Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Technion —
Israel Institute of Technology. She received her PhD in Organizational
Behavior from Carnegie Mellon University. Her research interests include
gender, negotiation, and conflict management.
Correspondence to:
Professor Anita Williams Woolley is an assistant professor of Organizational
Behavior and Theory at the Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon
University. She received her PhD in Organizational Behavior from Harvard
University. She conducts research on collective intelligence and team
Correspondence to:
... without a significant trend. As expected by the literature (Bear and Woolley 2011;Beede et al. 2011;Hofstra et al. 2020;Woolley et al. 2010;Xie et al. 2020), we find that gender diversity is positively related to creativity in video game projects, as an increase in gender diversity means a slight increase in creativity, without considering inclusion. Considering games as units of analysis, one standard deviation increase in gender diversity measured by the Blau diversity index results in .09 ...
... As others have already found, gender diversity in itself is a predictor of creativity (Bear and Woolley 2011;Beede et al. 2011;Hofstra et al. 2020;Xie et al. 2020). However, when we take inclusion also into account, the main effect of gender diversity on creativity is not significant, suggesting that diverse collaborators in a team also need to be included to for the team to see creativity benefits. ...
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... 11 For example, SDG 5.5 specifically aims to ensure that there are equal opportunities for women's leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic, and public life. 12 While the SDGs focus specifically on gender equality, there is also research that shows that women leaders encourage and drive innovation, creativity, and scientific discovery, 13 cultivate a more collaborative and inclusive research environment, 14 and remove hierarchical power imbalances that have the potential to derail collaboration among researchers from different disciplines. 15 Throughout this article, we use the terms ''women'' and ''leader.'' ...
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Purpose Recent years have seen increased participation by women in Science and Technology activities, but parity with men remains a distant goal. This paper provides a framework for improving knowledge on the dynamics of women’s contributions to innovation, as measured through their contributions as inventors. Design/methodology/approach Analysis was conducted using data from the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) database, covering over 40 years from 1976 to 2019. The study provides a breakdown of women’s inventiveness/innovation by technology area, which permits analysis of whether female inventors tend to work individually or as part of a team, as well as analysis of the effects of international networks. Findings Specific data have been analyzed around innovative activity by women in Spain, providing new insights on gender gaps. Key findings include those recent increases in inventions by women (as measured through patents) have occurred mostly via participation in internationally connected mixed-gender teams. Furthermore, the inventive creativity of women is found to be sector-biased and framed mainly in the chemical sector. Originality/value There are no similar contributions using USPTO data for Spanish inventions. This is an original paper that emphasizes the potential of collaborative networks as key driving mechanisms for the reduction of gender gaps and for the larger integration of women into innovation activities, with potential implications for stakeholders at both firm and governmental levels.
Power dynamics influence every aspect of scientific collaboration. Team power dynamics can be measured by team power level and team power hierarchy. Team power level is conceptualized as the average level of the possession of resources, expertise, or decision‐making authorities of a team. Team power hierarchy represents the vertical differences of the possessions of resources in a team. In Science of Science, few studies have looked at scientific collaboration from the perspective of team power dynamics. This research examines how team power dynamics affect team impact to fill the research gap. In this research, all coauthors of one publication are treated as one team. Team power level and team power hierarchy of one team are measured by the mean and Gini index of career age of coauthors in this team. Team impact is quantified by citations of a paper authored by this team. By analyzing over 7.7 million teams from Science (e.g., Computer Science, Physics), Social Sciences (e.g., Sociology, Library & Information Science), and Arts & Humanities (e.g., Art), we find that flat team structure is associated with higher team impact, especially when teams have high team power level. These findings have been repeated in all five disciplines except Art, and are consistent in various types of teams from Computer Science including teams from industry or academia, teams with different gender groups, teams with geographical contrast, and teams with distinct size.
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RESUMEN La inteligencia colectiva se potencia en los humanos a nivel grupal por medio de su conciencia, el conocimiento, el pensamiento, la toma de decisiones determinada por las emociones y la creatividad agrupada; va más allá de la habilidad de un grupo en la realización de una variedad de tareas. La evolución de la naturaleza ha provisto a los humanos de inteligencia individual, parte de ella reside en propiedades grupales, y al interactuar potencian la inteligencia colectiva: el avance de sus conocimientos ha ocasionado la inteligencia artificial colectiva y la conjunción ocasiona una inteligencia colectiva híbrida que ofrece un devenir inesperado a las empresas y la sociedad. 1. INTRODUCCIÓN Las acepciones de la inteligencia colectiva (IC) varían según el propósito pero consideran la participación y cooperación intelectual a fin de crear, innovar e inventar. Las amplias comunicaciones en la era digital o la interconectividad que proporcionan los procesos y técnicas de las tecnologías de la información y comunicación (TIC) han popularizado la alusión a la IC: se le atribuye colaboración, el compartir experiencias o la disposición de mayor información pero, en sentido estricto, se trata de inteligencia artificial colectiva (IAC) que conecta las personas al participar en una misma intención si cada uno hace lo que le corresponde; aunque promueva la acción conjunta y pueda incidir en la toma de decisiones, no da lugar a que las funciones cognitivas individuales interactúen de manera conjunta. La auténtica IC es la que potencian los humanos-a nivel grupal-por medio de su conciencia, el conocimiento, el pensamiento, la toma de decisiones determinada por las emociones y la creatividad agrupada, lo que genera acciones emergentes y novedosas fruto de la auténtica colaboración, la reciprocidad, la participación, la vinculación y el sentido de pertenencia. Los humanos, en su forzada evolución, cuentan con algoritmos, computación, inteligencia artificial (IA), robots y artefactos con los que emulan las redes neuronales del cerebro, su sistema motor y conectividad, pero impelidos por el progreso, desarrollo e innovación priorizan lo artificial y desatienden el continuo biológico-social y socio-cultural de la condición de un ser eusocial que interactúa, confía, colabora, coopera y compite gracias a la inteligencia individual y colectiva con similitud a las de otros organismos y especies de la naturaleza. La naturaleza ha propiciado formas colectivas y de organización en las que el trabajo en equipo está ampliamente autoorganizado y coordinado por medio de interacciones entre los distintos individuos en ausencia de control externo, lo que facilita producir nuevas formas de organización o mejorar las preexistentes ante los cambios ambientales. Es el caso de insectos sociales con "inteligencia de enjambre" (De Val Pardo, 2021) que se asimila a la IC de los humanos, quienes al violar los límites biológicos están huérfanos en el manejo de su condición, cuando al "ser sociales", la
When members of ad-hoc virtual teams need to collectively ideate or deliberate, they often fail to engage with each others' perspectives in a constructive manner. At best, this leads to sub-optimal outcomes, and, at worst, it can cause conflicts that lead to teams not wanting to continue working together. Prior work has attempted to facilitate constructive communication by highlighting problematic communication patterns and nudging teams to alter their interaction norms. However, these approaches achieve limited success because they fail to acknowledge two social barriers: (1) it is hard to reset team norms mid-interaction, and (2) corrective nudges have limited utility unless team members believe it is safe to voice their opinion and that their opinion will be heard. This paper introduces Empathosphere, a chat-embedded intervention to mitigate these barriers and foster constructive communication in teams. To mitigate the first barrier, Empathosphere leverages the known benefits of "experimental spaces" in dampening existing norms and creating a climate conducive to change. Empathosphere instantiates this "space'' as a separate communication channel in a team's workspace. To mitigate the second barrier, Empathosphere harnesses the benefits of perspective-taking to cultivate a group climate that promotes a norm of members speaking up and engaging with each other. Empathosphere achieves this by orchestrating authentic socio-emotional exchanges designed to induce perspective-taking. A controlled study ($N=110$) compared Empathosphere to an alternate intervention strategy of prompting teams to reflect on their team experience. We found that Empathosphere led to higher work satisfaction, encouraged more open communication and feedback within teams, and boosted teams' desire to continue working together. This work demonstrates that "experimental spaces," particularly those that integrate methods of encouraging perspective-taking, can be a powerful means of improving communication in virtual teams.
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Purpose It is widely accepted that coauthorship and collaboration promotes intellectual partnerships and improves the quality of publications. This paper examines the relationship between collaboration, productivity and publications in the field of family business. Design/methodology/approach The authors identify the most prolific authors, affiliations and countries and focus on the evolution of research in the field of family business. In doing so, the authors employ social network analysis to discover the structure of the networks and the ways in which authors, institutions and countries interact. Findings The empirical results show that collaboration is positively related to productivity, and there is significant evidence that the shaped networks exhibit small-world characteristics, a condition in which collaboration within authors becomes integrated in conjunction with time. Practical implications The findings highlight the mechanics of collaborative research production and can be useful to understand the importance of collaboration patterns to be followed in the field of family business. Originality/value The contributions are as follows: (a) application of social network analysis to model the coauthorship patterns among individuals, institutions and countries in family business; (b) distinguishing the most degree-central authors in the social network of collaborating academics; (c) investigation of the academic collaborations in family business that have the characteristics of a small-world social network and (d) suggesting a unique connection, through published keywords, between the research priorities of the most central or prolific authors with the research trends in the family business literature. The authors demonstrate that authors' collaboration becomes integrated in conjunction with time.
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Attitudes among 178 professional men and women working for a clothing manufacturer and retailer depended on their work groups' sex composition. Findings were consistent with status considerations: women expressed a greater likelihood of leaving homogeneous groups than did men, even though women expressed greater commitment, positive affect, and perceptions of cooperation when they worked in all- female groups. These results suggest that similarity-attraction may be inadequate as the primary theoretical foundation for understanding how work group sex composition influences men and women.
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Attitudes among 178 professional men and women working for a clothing manufac turer and retailer depended on their work groups' sex composition. Findings were consistent with status considerations: women expressed a greater likelihood of leaving homogeneous groups than did men, even though women expressed greater commit ment, positive affect, and perceptions of cooperation when they worked in all-female groups. These results suggest that similarity-attraction may be inadequate as the primary theoretical foundation for understanding how work group sex composition influences men and women. Though scholars have amassed a significant body of research on how demographic diversity influ ences organizations and their members and how sex diversity influences various work processes and outcomes, conclusions remain somewhat equivocal and, in some cases, contradictory. For example, it is unclear whether greater sex diversity promotes or constrains individual and group effec tiveness or influences women differently than men. One option for increasing understanding of how sex diversity influences working men and women is to follow the lead of past research and rely on the similarity-attraction paradigm (e.g., Byrne, 1971).
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In this article we address issues of diversity within organizational groups by discussing and summarizing previous approaches and by introducing a new variable-faultlines-which depends on the alignment of individual member characteristics. By analyzing a group's faultlines, we focus attention on the underlying patterns of group member characteristics, which can be an important determinant of subgroup conflict, particularly when the group's task is related to one of its faultlines. We discuss the dynamics of faultlines from the early to later stages of a group's development and show how they may be strongest and most likely when diversity of individual member characteristics is moderate.
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A multimethod field study of 92 workgroups explored the influence of three types of workgroup diversity (social category diversity, value diversity, and informational diversity) and two moderators (task type and task interdependence) on workgroup outcomes. Informational diversity positively influenced group performance, mediated by task conflict. Value and social category diversity, task complexity, and task interdependence all moderated this effect. Social category diversity positively influenced group member morale. Value diversity decreased satisfaction, intent to remain, and commitment to the group; relationship conflict mediated the effects of value diversity. We discuss the implications of these results for group leaders, managers, and organizations wishing to create and manage a diverse workforce successfully.
Integrating macro and micro theoretical perspectives, we conducted a meta-analysis examining the role of contextual factors in team diversity research. Using data from 8,757 teams in 39 studies conducted in organizational settings, we examined whether contextual factors at multiple levels, including industry, occupation, and team, influenced the performance outcomes of relations-oriented and task-oriented diversity. The direct effects were very small yet significant, and after we accounted for industry, occupation, and team-level contextual moderators, they doubled or tripled in size. Further, occupation- and industry-level moderators explained significant variance in effect sizes across studies.
SUMMARY—As the workplace has become increasingly diverse, there has been a tension between the promise and the reality of diversity in team process and performance. The optimistic view holds that diversity will lead to an increase in the variety of perspectives and approaches brought to a problem and to opportunities for knowledge sharing, and hence lead to greater creativity and quality of team performance. However, the preponderance of the evidence favors a more pessimistic view: that diversity creates social divisions, which in turn create negative performance outcomes for the group.
This paper develops theory about the conditions under which cultural diversity enhances or detracts from work group functioning. From qualitative research in three culturally diverse organizations, we identified three different perspectives on workforce diversity: the integration-and-learning perspective, the access-and-legitimacy perspective, and the discrimination-and-fairness perspective. The perspective on diversity a work group held influenced how people expressed and managed tensions related to diversity, whether those who had been traditionally underrepresented in the organization felt respected and valued by their colleagues, and how people interpreted the meaning of their racial identity at work. These, in turn, had implications for how well the work group and its members functioned. All three perspectives on diversity had been successful in motivating managers to diversify their staffs, but only the integration-and-learning perspective provided the rationale and guidance needed to achieve sustained benefits from diversity. By identifying the conditions that intervene between the demographic composition of a work group and its functioning, our research helps to explain mixed results on the relationship between cultural diversity and work group outcomes.
Large differences in scientific productivity between male and female researchers have not yet been explained satisfactorily This study finds that child care and lack of research collaboration are the two factors that cause significant gender differences in scientific publishing. Women with young children and women who do not collaborate in research with other scientists are clearly less productive than both their male and female colleagues.
Connectivity, the control parameter in a nonlinear dynamics model of team performance is mathematically linked to the ratio of positivity to negativity (P/N) in team interaction. By knowing the P/N ratio it is possible to run the nonlinear dynamics model that will portray what types of dynamics are possible for a team. These dynamics are of three types: point attractor, limit cycle, and complexor (complex order, or “chaotic” in the mathematical sense). Low performance teams end up in point attractor dynamics, medium perfomance teams in limit cycle dynamics, and high performance teams in complexor dynamics.