About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 969-980
Publication year: 2016
ISBN: 978-84-617-5895-1
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2016.1217

Conference name: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 14-16 November, 2016
Location: Seville, Spain

IS TEAM DIVERSITY A SOURCE OF ENRICHMENT OR OF CONFLICT?

S. Urionabarrenetxea, J.D. Garcia-Merino, A. Fernandez

University of the Basque Country (SPAIN)
Teamwork has become a priority in business environments since the early 1980s (Freeman, 1996). Therefore, it is important to identify the key features that enable an improvement of team performance. One of the most studied features of team groups in management is the degree of diversity of their members: while the theory based on social categorization believes that diversity decreases the group performance, the theory based on information / decision making advocates the opposite effect. Today, “how a team’s diversity affects its performance remains an important research area” (Martins et al., 2013), since conclusive results have not been reached.

In order to advance our understanding of the relationship between diversity and performance, researchers propose the development of two lines of research, not mutually exclusive: first, both approaches have largely been developed along separate lines but there are few studies considering the interaction between social categorization and information/decision-making processes (van Knippenberg & Schippers, 2007). That is why an interweaving of both (so far analyzed separately) is proposed. Second, there is a need to contextualize this relationship through a contingency approach because it could be one of the reasons for the inconsistency of results (Joshi & Roh, 2009; Martins et al, 2013;. Mello & Delise, 2015). Thus the aim of this paper is to propose a contingency model of the relationship between diversity and group performance, taking both as multidimensional variables (measured through composite indicators), and integrate the two dominant approaches so far.

To this end, 80 groups of students of Business Management at the University of Basque Country (UPV / EHU) have been monitored; they have been provided a business problem to solve, which required group decision making.

Results show that teamwork among students in higher education management seems not to follow the same behavior patterns as firms´. It is not clear that diversity among students is relevant for improving group performance, but it is clear that it becomes a source of further conflict that could damage the relationships among team members. Furthermore, we considered some control variables (involvement, capacity,...) that could help to explain the problem as a whole.

This paper contributes in several ways to the literature on the diversity-performance relation in work teams: first, we integrate current outlook into a partial mediation model; thus both positive and negative effects of diversity are assessed as a whole. Second, as far as we know, composite indicators have not been used before to embrace the concepts of diversity, conflict and performance; in this paper we use an analysis based on composite indicators to build multidimensional variables, achieving an overview approach. Third, we identify new relevant moderating variables of the stated relations: experience for the relation between conflict and performance, and leadership for the relation between conflict and diversity.
@InProceedings{URIONABARRENETXEA2016IST,
author = {Urionabarrenetxea, S. and Garcia-Merino, J.D. and Fernandez, A.},
title = {IS TEAM DIVERSITY A SOURCE OF ENRICHMENT OR OF CONFLICT?},
series = {9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2016 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-5895-1},
issn = {2340-1095},
doi = {10.21125/iceri.2016.1217},
url = {http://dx.doi.org/10.21125/iceri.2016.1217},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {14-16 November, 2016},
year = {2016},
pages = {969-980}}
TY - CONF
AU - S. Urionabarrenetxea AU - J.D. Garcia-Merino AU - A. Fernandez
TI - IS TEAM DIVERSITY A SOURCE OF ENRICHMENT OR OF CONFLICT?
SN - 978-84-617-5895-1/2340-1095
DO - 10.21125/iceri.2016.1217
PY - 2016
Y1 - 14-16 November, 2016
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2016 Proceedings
SP - 969
EP - 980
ER -
S. Urionabarrenetxea, J.D. Garcia-Merino, A. Fernandez (2016) IS TEAM DIVERSITY A SOURCE OF ENRICHMENT OR OF CONFLICT?, ICERI2016 Proceedings, pp. 969-980.
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