During the last 20 years, the global marketplace has become more competitive due to increased globalization, aggressive market competition, and changing customer demands. This has forced organizations to assemble teams with diverse knowledge, skills, and abilities to remain competitive. However, previous meta-analytic investigations examining the relationship between team surface-level diversity (i.e., race or gender identity), creativity, and innovation have indicated a small negative relationship. Despite the said positive effects of team diversity, theory and empirical evidence suggests that increased surface-level team diversity leads to decreased team collaboration, team cohesion, and diminished creativity and innovation (Bell, 2007).
This study explores the effects of team inclusive behaviors on surface-level diverse teams. Drawing on social identity theory, it was hypothesized that team inclusive behaviors would moderate the indirect effects of team surface-level diversity on team creativity and innovation, such that the relationships between team surface-level diversity and team creativity and innovation would be stronger when team inclusive behaviors were high as opposed to low. Undergraduate students and working adults completed an experiment to test the manipulation. Participants were randomly appointed to 1 of 2 study conditions (low or high team inclusion) and completed assignments in two to four-person teams (100 total). Results from regression analyses did not provide support for the hypothesis mentioned above. However, results from exploratory analyses demonstrated that team setting (virtual or in-person) predicted levels of team creativity. However, there was a significant interaction effect between team setting and team inclusive behaviors when predicting team psychological safety such that teams high in team inclusive behaviors will have higher levels of team psychological safety. Implications for theory and practice are further discussed.
Mitchell, R. (2022). The Effects of Team Surface-level Diversity on Creativity & innovation. Retrieved from https://repository.lsu.edu/shrewd_pubs/4