Impact of social and informational faultlines on patterns of trust and coordination in teams
Wax, Amy Martha
MetadataShow full item record
Although diversity is often thought to improve team performance by expanding the range of ideas available to the group, reported relationships between team diversity and performance have been somewhat weak (e.g., Bowers, Pharmer,&Salas, 2000; Devine&Philips, 2001; Webber&Donahue, 2001). One possible explanation for the lack of findings on team diversity is that past research has largely taken an absolute (i.e., how much diversity) rather than a relative perspective (i.e., what pattern of diversity; Tsui&O'Reilly, 1989; Tsui, Egan,&O'Reilly, 1992). Conceptually and operationally defining team diversity using faultlines - i.e., the pattern of how different types of demographic divisions either do or do not reinforce the salience of the subgroup - is one way to study diversity from a relative perspective. This thesis posits that the relative approach using faultlines may better elucidate the relationship between demography and team outcomes. In particular, this thesis posits that the structural arrangement of diversity (i.e., faultlines) among team members gives rise to relational patterns of trust and coordination, which in turn determine team performance. Results support the notion of a negative relation between faultline strength and team performance.