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Diversity, Team Mechanisms, and Performance: A Meta-Analytical Test of an Opposing Path Model


  • Kristina Reineke

    () (University of Paderborn)

  • Holger Steinmetz

    () (Leibniz Institute for Psychology Information)

  • Rodrigo Isidor

    () (University of Bayreuth)


Organizations become increasingly diverse and especially the diversity of work teams has gained a strong interest in science and public discussions. Although various studies and meta-analyses have investigated the impact of team diversity on performance, they mostly find weak or non-significant relationships. We propose and test whether the inconclusive empirical results originate in the simultaneous effects of two counteracting team mechanisms. Using a sample of 218 studies, we examine via meta-analytical structural equation modelling (MASEM) whether the effects of three bio-demographic diversity dimensions (i.e., gender, age, ethnicity) and three task-related diversity dimensions (i.e., functional, educational, experiential diversity) on subjective and objective performance are simultaneously mediated via social categorization and information elaboration. In doing so, we consider positive and negative effects of diversity at the same time. Contrary to our hypothesis, we found a weak negative relationship between ethnic diversity and information elaboration. None of the other diversity dimensions had a significant effect on either of the mediators and, thus, on performance. Subsequent bivariate meta-analysis in addition to moderator analyses failed to provide evidence about context specific relationships between diversity and its presumed consequences.

Suggested Citation

  • Kristina Reineke & Holger Steinmetz & Rodrigo Isidor, 2020. "Diversity, Team Mechanisms, and Performance: A Meta-Analytical Test of an Opposing Path Model," Working Papers Dissertations 61, Paderborn University, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:pdn:dispap:61

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Karen A. Bantel & Susan E. Jackson, 1989. "Top management and innovations in banking: Does the composition of the top team make a difference?," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(S1), pages 107-124, June.
    2. Ensley, Michael D. & Hmieleski, Keith M., 2005. "A comparative study of new venture top management team composition, dynamics and performance between university-based and independent start-ups," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(7), pages 1091-1105, September.
    3. John Antonakis & Samuel Bendahan & Philippe Jacquart & Rafael Lalive, 2010. "On making causal claims : A review and recommendations," Post-Print hal-02313119, HAL.
    4. Walter J. Ferrier & Douglas W. Lyon, 2004. "Competitive repertoire simplicity and firm performance: The moderating role of top management team heterogeneity," Managerial and Decision Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 25(6-7), pages 317-327.
    5. Ray Reagans & Ezra W. Zuckerman, 2001. "Networks, Diversity, and Productivity: The Social Capital of Corporate R&D Teams," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 12(4), pages 502-517, August.
    6. Alan I. Murray, 1989. "Top management group heterogeneity and firm performance," Strategic Management Journal, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 10(S1), pages 125-141, June.
    7. Zeki Simsek & John F. Veiga & Michael Lubatkin & Richard N. Dino, 2005. "Modeling the Multilevel Determinants of Top management Team Behavorial Integration," Post-Print hal-02311805, HAL.
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    More about this item


    team diversity; social categorization; information elaboration; performance; meta-analysis; structural equation modeling;

    JEL classification:

    • M14 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Corporate Culture; Diversity; Social Responsibility
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance

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