Prior research linking demographic (e.g., age, ethnicity/race, gender, and tenure) and underlying psychological (e.g., personality, attitudes, and values) dissimilarity variables to individual group member's work-related outcomes produced mixed and contradictory results. To account for these findings, this study develops a contingency framework and tests it using meta-analytic and structural equation modelling techniques. In line with this framework, results showed different effects of surface-level (i.e., demographic) dissimilarity and deep-level (i.e., underlying psychological) dissimilarity on social integration, and ultimately on individual effectiveness related outcomes (i.e., turnover, task, and contextual performance). Specifically, surface-level dissimilarity had a negative effect on social integration under low but not under high team interdependence. In return, social integration fully mediated the negative relationship between surface-level dissimilarity and individual effectiveness related outcomes under low interdependence. In contrast, deep-level dissimilarity had a negative effect on social integration, which was stronger under high and weaker under low team interdependence. Contrary to our predictions, social integration did not mediate the negative relationship between deep-level dissimilarity and individual effectiveness related outcomes but suppressed positive direct effects of deep-level dissimilarity on individual effectiveness related outcomes. Possible explanations for these counterintuitive findings are discussed.
|Number of pages||36|
|Journal||Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology|
|Early online date||7 Jan 2011|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2012|