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Exploring Demographic Diversity in Low-Skilled Jobs: The Effect of Surface-Level Dormant Faultlines on Team Performance and Social Integration

Popova, Natalia (2018) Exploring Demographic Diversity in Low-Skilled Jobs: The Effect of Surface-Level Dormant Faultlines on Team Performance and Social Integration.

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Abstract:We build on diversity literature by theorizing that teams with strong surface-level faultlines (based on age, gender, nationality or origin) are more likely to be broken into subgroups. To examine this, we conducted research in low-skilled teams as less creative job allows neutralizing the effect of deep-level diversity. Using data collected from 300 employees nested in 32 teams from a Dutch cleaning company, we do not find that dormant faultlines’ strength has an effect either on faultlines’ activation or on team outcomes. Nevertheless, our results demonstrate that if the team is split into subgroups, it negatively affects its performance and social integration with conflicts as a mediator of this relationship. These findings contribute to the diversity literature by providing strong evidence that it seems impossible to predict team performance by focusing exclusively on teams’ demographic composition. Therefore, we call for more field research of subgrouping process in diverse teams. The main implication for diversity management is that subgroups in low-skilled teams worsen its work outcomes, thus, the creation of team unity and cohesion is a key to better performance. It requires skilled line managers who see teams on daily basis and should be able to monitor team dynamics and prevent subgrouping based on demographic or other differences.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Clients:
Asito B.V., Almelo, The Netherlands
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/76601
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