Quality & Quantity

, Volume 42, Issue 3, pp 339–368 | Cite as

Probing the Group Faultline Concept: An Evaluation of Measures of Patterned Multi-dimensional Group Diversity

  • Bruno Trezzini


The article provides a conceptual and analytical discussion of the group faultline notion introduced to organizational research by Lau and Murnighan (1998). Group faultlines can be thought of as patterned multi-dimensional diversity, and recent attempts to measure faultline strength differ in the way they specify and operationalize this patternedness. I evaluate the comparative validity of these competing measures by scrutinizing their analytical strengths and weaknesses and by applying them to a number of illustrative group constellations that represent different faultline strengths. I conclude that at the current early stage of group faultline research, and given the shortcomings of the available indices, scholars are well advised to use multiple measures of faultline strength in empirical studies so as to better gauge the validity and reliability of both their results and the indices applied. I also caution against excessive hopes with regard to the explanatory power of the faultline concept in empirical research.


group faultlines measurement evaluation multi-dimensional diversity polarization 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science + Business Media B.V. 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Practical SignificanceSingaporeSingapore

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