Quality & Quantity

, Volume 45, Issue 3, pp 701–714 | Cite as

Revisiting faultline conceptualization: measuring faultline strength and distance

  • Elaine L. Zanutto
  • Katerina BezrukovaEmail author
  • Karen A. Jehn
Research Note


The purpose of this research is to develop a conceptually and methodologically sound measure of group faultlines (demographic alignment of members along multiple attributes within a group). This measure takes into account the concept of faultline strength (the extent of a demographic alignment across members within a group) and, thus far neglected in past work, the concept of faultline distance. This faultline distance measure reflects how far apart the emerging subgroups are on demographic characteristics. This new, more elaborate conceptualization of faultlines is validated by presenting a number of hypothetical examples that demonstrate the distinct properties of faultline measures. We also validate our measures by empirically examining the relationships between faultline strength and distance, and active, or perceived, faultlines.


Faultline measure Faultline strength Faultline distance 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elaine L. Zanutto
    • 1
  • Katerina Bezrukova
    • 2
    Email author
  • Karen A. Jehn
    • 3
  1. 1.National Analysts WorldwidePhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologySanta Clara UniversitySanta CalraUSA
  3. 3.Melbourne Business SchoolCarltonAustralia

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