Unraveling the effects of cultural diversity in teams: A meta-analysis of research on multicultural work groups

Abstract

Previous research on the role of cultural diversity in teams is equivocal, suggesting that cultural diversity's effect on teams is mediated by specific team processes, and moderated by contextual variables. To reconcile conflicting perspectives and past results, we propose that cultural diversity affects teams through process losses and gains associated with increased divergence and decreased convergence. We examine whether the level (surface-level vs deep-level) and type (cross-national vs intra-national) of cultural diversity affect these processes differently. We hypothesize that task complexity and structural aspects of the team, such as team size, team tenure, and team dispersion, moderate the effects of cultural diversity on teams. We test the hypotheses with a meta-analysis of 108 empirical studies on processes and performance in 10,632 teams. Results suggest that cultural diversity leads to process losses through task conflict and decreased social integration, but to process gains through increased creativity and satisfaction. The effects are almost identical for both levels and types of cultural diversity. Moderator analyses reveal that the effects of cultural diversity vary, depending on contextual influences, as well as on research design and sample characteristics. We propose an agenda for future research, and identify implications for managers.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Figure 1
Figure 2

Notes

  1. 1.

    A synopsis of study characteristics, samples, measures, scale reliabilities, and effect sizes for the studies included in the meta-analyses is available from the authors.

  2. 2.

    The detailed results of the subgroup analyses can be obtained from the authors.

References

*Studies marked with an asterisk were included in the meta-analysis

  1. Adler, N. J. 2002. International dimensions of organizational behavior, (4th ed.). Cincinnati, OH: Southwestern.

    Google Scholar 

  2. Ancona, D. G., & Caldwell, D. F. 1992. Demography and design: Predictors of new product team performance. Organization Science, 3 (3): 321–341.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. *Anderson, L. R. 1983. Management of the mixed-cultural work group. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 31 (3): 303–330.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Austin, J. R. 1997. A cognitive framework for understanding demographic influences in groups. International Journal of Organizational Analysis, 5 (4): 342–359.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Basadur, M. H., & Head, M. 2001. Team performance and satisfaction: A link to cognitive style within a process framework. Journal of Creative Behavior, 35 (4): 227–248.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. * Baugh, S. G., & Graen, G. B. 1997. Effect of team gender and racial composition on perceptions of team performance in cross-functional teams. Group & Organization Management, 22 (3): 366–383.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. * Bayazit, M., & Mannix, E. A. 2003. Should I stay or should I go? Predicting team members’ intent to remain in the team. Small Group Research, 34 (3): 290–321.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Bell, S. T. 2007. Deep-level composition variables as predictors of team performance: A meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92 (3): 595–615.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  9. Blau, P. M. 1977. Inequality and heterogeneity. New York: Free Press.

    Google Scholar 

  10. Bowers, C. A., Pharmer, J. A., & Salas, E. 2000. When member homogeneity is needed in work teams: A meta-analysis. Small Group Research, 31 (3): 305–327.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Brett, J., Behfar, K., & Kern, M. C. 2006. Managing multicultural teams. Harvard Business Review, 84 (11): 85–91.

    Google Scholar 

  12. * Cady, S. H., & Valentine, J. 1999. Team innovation and perceptions of consideration: What difference does diversity make? Small Group Research, 30 (6): 730–750.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Canney Davison, S., & Ekelund, B. Z. 2004. Effective team processes for global teams. In H. Lane, M. Maznevski, M. Mendenhall & J. Mcnett (Eds), Handbook of global management: 227–249. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishing.

    Google Scholar 

  14. Carte, T., & Chidambaram, L. 2004. A capabilities-based theory of technology deployment in diverse teams: Leapfrogging the pitfalls of diversity and leveraging its potential with collaborative technology. Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 5 (11): 448–471.

    Google Scholar 

  15. * Chatman, J. A., & Flynn, F. J. 2001. The influence of demographic heterogeneity on the emergence and consequences of cooperative norms in work teams. Academy of Management Journal, 44 (5): 956–974.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Cohen, J. 1977. Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences. New York: Academic Press.

    Google Scholar 

  17. Cohen, S. G., & Bailey, D. E. 1997. What makes teams work: Group effectiveness research from the shop floor to the executive suite. Journal of Management, 23 (3): 239–290.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Cox, T. H. 1994. Cultural diversity in organizations: Theory, research, and practice. San Francisco: Benett-Koehler Publishers.

    Google Scholar 

  19. Cox, T. H., & Blake, S. 1991. Managing cultural diversity: Implications for organizational competitiveness. Academy of Management Executive, 5 (3): 45–56.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. * Dahlin, K. B., Weingart, L. R., & Hinds, P. J. 2005. Team diversity and information use. Academy of Management Journal, 48 (6): 1107–1123.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Dalton, D. R., Daily, C. M., Certo, S. T., & Roengpitya, R. 2003. Meta-analyses of financial performance and equity: Fusion or confusion? Academy of Management Journal, 46 (1): 13–26.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. De Dreu, C. K. W., & Weingart, L. R. 2003. Task versus relationship conflict, team performance, and team member satisfaction: A meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88 (4): 741–749.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. DiStefano, J. J., & Maznevski, M. L. 2000. Creating value with diverse teams in global management. Organizational Dynamics, 29 (1): 45–63.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Doz, Y., Santos, J., & Williamson, P. 2004. Diversity: The key to innovation advantage. European Business Forum, 17: 25–27.

    Google Scholar 

  25. Earley, P. C. 2006. Leading cultural research in the future: A matter of paradigms and taste. Journal of International Business Studies, 37 (6): 922–931.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Earley, P. C., & Gibson, C. B. 2002. Multinational work teams: A new perspective. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

    Google Scholar 

  27. * Earley, P. C., & Mosakowski, E. A. 2000. Creating hybrid team cultures: An empirical test of transnational team functioning. Academy of Management Journal, 43 (1): 26–49.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. * Elron, E. 1997. Top management teams within multinational corporations: Effects of cultural heterogeneity. Leadership Quarterly, 8 (4): 393–413.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. * Ely, R. J. 2004. A field study of group diversity, participation in diversity education programs, and performance. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 25 (6): 755–780.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Ely, R. J., & Thomas, D. A. 2001. Cultural diversity at work: The effects of diversity perspectives on work group processes and outcomes. Administrative Science Quarterly, 46 (2): 229–273.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. * Fiedler, F. E. 1966. The effect of leadership and cultural heterogeneity on group performance: A test of the contingency model. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 2 (3): 237–264.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. * Gibson, C. B., & Gibbs, J. L. 2006. Unpacking the concept of virtuality: The effects of geographic dispersion, electronic dependence, dynamic structure, and national diversity on team innovation. Administrative Science Quarterly, 51 (3): 451–495.

    Google Scholar 

  33. Gratton, L., & Erickson, T. 2007. Eight ways to build collaborative teams. Harvard Business Review, 85 (11): 100–109.

    Google Scholar 

  34. Hackman, J. R. 1987. The design of work teams. In J. Lorsch (Ed.), Handbook of organizational behavior: 315–342. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

    Google Scholar 

  35. Hackman, J. R. 2002. Leading teams: Setting the stage for great performances. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

    Google Scholar 

  36. * Harrison, D. A., Price, K. H., & Bell, M. P. 1998. Beyond relational demography: Time and the effects of surface- and deep-level diversity on work group cohesion. Academy of Management Journal, 41 (1): 96–107.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. * Harrison, D. A., Price, K. H. Gavin, J. H., & Florey, A. T. 2002. Time, teams, and task performance: Changing effects of surface- and deep-level diversity on group functioning. Academy of Management Journal, 45 (5): 1029–1045.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. Hedges, L. V., & Olkin, I. 1985. Statistical methods for meta-analysis. Orlando, FL: Academic Press.

    Google Scholar 

  39. * Heller, D. M. 1997. Cultural diversity and team performance: Testing for social loafing effects, Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of North Texas, Denton, TX.

  40. Hinds, P. J., & Mortensen, M. 2005. Understanding conflict in geographically distributed teams: The moderating effects of shared identity, shared context, and spontaneous communication. Organization Science, 16 (3): 290–307.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. * Hobman, E. V., & Bordia, P. 2006. The role of team identification in the dissimilarity–conflict relationship. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 9 (4): 483–507.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Hofstede, G. 1980. Culture's consequences: International differences in work-related values. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.

    Google Scholar 

  43. Hofstede, G. 2001. Culture's consequences, (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

    Google Scholar 

  44. Hopkins, W., & Hopkins, S. 2002. Effects of cultural recomposition on group interaction processes. Academy of Management Review, 27 (4): 541–553.

    Google Scholar 

  45. Hopkins, W., Hopkins, S., & Gross, M. A. 2005. Cultural diversity recomposition and effectiveness in monoculture work groups. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 26 (8): 949–964.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  46. Horwitz, S. K., & Horwitz, I. B. 2007. The effects of team diversity on team outcomes: A meta-analytic review of team demography. Journal of Management, 33 (6): 987–1015.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  47. House, R. J., Hanges, P. W., Javidan, M., Dorfman, P., & Gupta, V. (Eds), 2004. Culture, leadership, and organizations: The GLOBE study of 62 societies. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.

    Google Scholar 

  48. Hunter, J. E., & Schmidt, F. L. 1990. Methods of meta-analysis: Correcting error and bias in research findings. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

    Google Scholar 

  49. Indik, B. P. 1965. Organization size and member participation: Some empirical tests of alternative explanations. Human Relations, 18 (4): 339–350.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  50. Jackson, S. E. 1992. Team composition in organizational settings: Issues in managing an increasingly diverse workforce. In S. Worchel, W. Wood & J. A. Simpson (Eds), Group process and productivity: 138–173. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.

    Google Scholar 

  51. * Jackson, S. E., & Joshi, A. 2002. Diversity in social context: A multi-attribute, multi-level analysis of team diversity and sales performance. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 25 (6): 675–702.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  52. Jackson, S. E., Joshi, A., & Erhardt, N. L. 2003. Recent research on team and organizational diversity: SWOT analysis implications. Journal of Management, 29 (6): 801–830.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  53. Jackson, S. E., Brett, J. F., Sessa, V. I., Cooper, D. M., Julin, J. A., & Peyronnin, K. 1991. Some differences make a difference: Individual dissimilarity and group heterogeneity as correlates of recruitment, promotions, and turnover. Journal of Applied Psychology, 76 (5): 675–689.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  54. Janis, I. L. 1972. Victims of groupthink: A psychological study of foreign-policy decisions and fiascos. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

    Google Scholar 

  55. Jarvenpaa, S. L., & Leidner, D. E. 1999. Communication and trust in global virtual teams. Organization Science, 10 (6): 791–815.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  56. Jehn, K. A. 1995. A multimethod examination of the benefits and detriments of intragroup conflict. Administrative Science Quarterly, 40 (2): 256–282.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  57. * Jehn, K. A., & Bezrukova, K. 2004. A field study of group diversity, workgroup context, and performance. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 25 (6): 703–729.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  58. * Jehn, K. A., & Mannix, E. A. 2001. The dynamic nature of conflict: A longitudinal study of intragroup conflict and group performance. Academy of Management Journal, 44 (2): 238–251.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  59. * Jehn, K. A., Chadwick, C., & Thatcher, S. M. 1997. To agree or not to agree: The effects of value congruence, individual demographic dissimilarity, and conflict on workgroup outcomes. International Journal of Conflict Management, 8 (4): 287–306.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  60. * Jehn, K. A., Northcraft, G. B., & Neale, M. A. 1999. Why differences make a difference: A field study of diversity, conflict, and performance in workgroups. Administrative Science Quarterly, 44 (4): 741–763.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  61. Joshi, A., & Roh, H. 2007. Context matters: Multilevel framework for team diversity research. In J. Martocchio (Ed.), Research in personnel and human resource management, Vol. 26: 1–48. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.

    Google Scholar 

  62. Joshi, A., & Roh, H. 2009. The role of context in work team diversity research: A meta-analytic review. Academy of Management Journal, 52 (3): 599–627.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  63. Katz, R. 1982. The effects of group longevity on project communication and performance. Administrative Science Quarterly, 27 (1): 81–104.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  64. Katz, D., & Kahn, R. L. 1978. The social psychology of organizations. New York: Wiley.

    Google Scholar 

  65. * Kearney, E. 2007. When and how diversity benefits team processes and outcomes: The importance of team members’ need for cognition, Working Paper.

  66. * Kearney, E., & Gebert, D. 2007. Unlocking the performance potential of diverse teams through transformational leadership, Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Academy of Management, 3–8 August 2007. Philadelphia, PA.

  67. * Kilduff, M., Angelmar, R., & Mehra, A. 2000. Top management-team diversity and firm performance: Examining the role of cognitions. Organization Science, 11 (1): 21–34.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  68. Kirchmeyer, C. 1995. Demographic similarity to the work group: A longitudinal study of managers at the early career stage. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 16 (1): 67–83.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  69. Kirchmeyer, C., & Cohen, A. 1992. Multicultural groups: Their performance and reactions with constructive conflict. Group & Organization Management, 17 (2): 153–170.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  70. * Kirkman, B. L., & Shapiro, D. L. 2001. The impact of cultural values on job satisfaction and organizational commitment in self-managing work teams: The mediating role of employee resistance. Academy of Management Journal, 44 (3): 557–569.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  71. * Kirkman, B. L., & Shapiro, D. L. 2005. The impact of cultural value diversity on multicultural team performance. In D. L. Shapiro, M. A. Von Glinow & J. L. Cheng (Eds), Advances in international management, Vol. 18: 33–67. London: Elsevier.

    Google Scholar 

  72. * Kirkman, B. L., Tesluk, P. E., & Rosen, B. 2004. The impact of demographic heterogeneity and team leader-team member demographic fit on team empowerment and effectiveness. Group & Organization Management, 29 (3): 334–368.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  73. Lane, H. W., Maznevski, M. L., DiStefano, J. J., & Dietz, J. 2009. International management behavior: Leading with a global mindset, (6th ed.) Oxford: Blackwell Publishers.

    Google Scholar 

  74. Lane, H. W., Maznevski, M. L., Mendenhall, M., & McNett, J. (Eds), 2004. Blackwell handbook of global management: A guide to managing complexity. Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers.

    Google Scholar 

  75. Lau, D. C., & Murnighan, J. K. 1998. Demographic diversity and faultlines: The compositional dynamics of organizational groups. Academy of Management Review, 23 (2): 325–340.

    Google Scholar 

  76. Lawrence, B. S. 1997. The black box of organizational demography. Organization Science, 8 (1): 1–22.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  77. * Leonard, J. S., Levine, D. I., & Joshi, A. 2004. Do birds of a feather shop together? The effects on performance of employees’ similarity with one another and with customers. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 25 (6): 731–754.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  78. Leung, K., Bhagat, R. S., Buchan, N. R., Erez, M., & Gibson, C. B. 2005. Culture and international business: Recent advances and their implications for future research. Journal of International Business Studies, 36 (4): 357–378.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  79. Lipsey, M. W., & Wilson, D. B. 2001. Practical meta-analysis. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

    Google Scholar 

  80. Mannix, E., & Neale, M. A. 2005. What differences make a difference? Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 6 (2): 31–55.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  81. Marks, M. A., Mathieu, J. E., & Zaccaro, S. J. 2001. A temporally based framework and taxonomy of team processes. Academy of Management Review, 26 (3): 356–376.

    Google Scholar 

  82. Martins, L. L., Miliken, F., Wiesenfeld, B. M., & Salgado, S. R. 2003. Racioethnic diversity and group members’ experiences. Group & Organization Management, 28 (1): 75–106.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  83. * Martins, L. L., Gilson, L. L., & Maynard, M. T. 2004. Virtual Teams: What do we know and where do we go from here? Journal of Management, 30 (6): 805–835.

    Google Scholar 

  84. * Maznevski, M. L. 1994. Understanding our differences: Performance in decision-making groups with diverse members. Human Relations, 47 (5): 531–552.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  85. Maznevski, M. L. 1995. Process and performance in multicultural teams, Working Paper, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA.

  86. Maznevski, M. L., & Chudoba, K. M. 2000. Bridging space over time: Global virtual team dynamics and effectiveness. Organization Science, 11 (5): 473–792.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  87. Maznevski, M. L., & Zander, L. 2000. Leading global teams: Overcoming the challenge of the power paradox. In M. Mendenhall, T. Kuehlmnn & G. Stahl (Eds), Developing global business leaders: 157–174. Westport, CT: Quorum Books.

    Google Scholar 

  88. Maznevski, M. L., Canney Davison, S., & Jonsen, K. 2006. Global virtual team dynamics and effectiveness. In G. K. Stahl & I. Bjorkman (Eds), Handbook of research in international human resource management: 364–384. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar.

    Google Scholar 

  89. Maznevski, M. L., DiStefano, J. J., Gomez, C. B., Noorderhaven, N. G., & Wu, P. C. 2002. Cultural dimensions at the individual level of analysis: The cultural orientations framework. International Journal of Cross Cultural Management, 2 (3): 275–295.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  90. McGrath, J. E. 1984. Groups: Interaction and performance. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.

    Google Scholar 

  91. * McLeod, P. L., Lobel, S. A., & Cox, T. H. 1996. Ethnic diversity and creativity in small groups. Small Group Research, 27 (2): 248–264.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  92. * Miller, M. C. 1994. Relationships among cultural heterogeneity, group processes, and group outcomes: A model and empirical study, Doctoral dissertation, University of Houston, Houston, TX.

  93. Milliken, F. J., & Martins, L. L. 1996. Searching for common threads: Understanding the multiple effects of diversity in organizational groups. Academy of Management Review, 21 (2): 402–424.

    Google Scholar 

  94. * Miura, A., & Hida, M. 2004. Synergy between diversity and similarity in group-idea generation. Small Group Research, 35 (5): 540–564.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  95. * Mohammed, S., & Angell, L. C. 2004. Surface- and deep-level diversity in workgroups: Examining the moderating effects of team orientation and team process on relationship conflict. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 25 (8): 1015–1039.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  96. Mortensen, M., & Hinds, P. J. 2001. Conflict and shared identity in geographically distributed teams. International Journal of Conflict Management, 12 (3): 212.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  97. Mullen, B., Johnson, D. A., & Drake, S. D. 1987. Organizational productivity as a function of group composition: A self-attention perspective. Journal of Social Psychology, 127 (2): 143–151.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  98. Mullen, B., Johnson, C., & Salas, E. 1991. Productivity loss in brainstorming groups: A meta-analytic integration. Basic and Applied Psychology, 12 (1): 2–23.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  99. Neuendorf, K. A. 2002. The content analysis guidebook. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

    Google Scholar 

  100. * Oetzel, J. G. 1998. Culturally homogeneous and heterogeneous groups: Explaining communication processes through individualism–collectivism and self-construal. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 22 (2): 135–161.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  101. O’Reilly, C. A., Caldwell, D. F., & Barnett, W. P. 1989. Work group demography, social integration, and turnover. Administrative Science Quarterly, 34 (1): 21–37.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  102. * O’Reilly, C. A., Williams, K. Y., & Barsade, S. 1998. Group demography and innovation: Does diversity help? In E. Mannix & M. Neale (Eds), Research in the management of groups and teams, Vol. 1: 183–207. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.

    Google Scholar 

  103. * Paletz, S. B., Peng, K. Erez, M., & Maslach, C. 2004. Ethnic composition and its differential impact on group processes in diverse teams. Small Group Research, 35 (2): 128–157.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  104. Pelled, L. H., 1996. Demographic diversity, conflict, and work group outcomes: An intervening process theory. Organization Science, 7 (6): 615–631.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  105. * Pelled, L. H., Eisenhardt, K. M., & Xin, K. R. 1999. Exploring the black box: An analysis of work group diversity, conflict, and performance. Administrative Science Quarterly, 44 (1): 1–28.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  106. Pfeffer, J. 1983. Organizational demography. In L. L. Cummings & B. M. Staw (Eds), Research in organizational behavior: 229–357. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.

    Google Scholar 

  107. * Phillips, K. W., Northcraft, G. B., & Neale, M. A. 2006. Surface-level diversity and decision-making in groups: When does deep-level similarity help? Group Processes and Intergroup Relations, 9 (4): 467–482.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  108. * Poling, T. L., Oliver, J. McGee, E. A., & Woehr, D. J. 2007. Team member diversity: The impact of personality and values on team viability and conflict, Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Academy of Management, 3–8 August 2007. Philadelphia, PA.

  109. * Polzer, J. T., Crisp, C. B. Jarvenpaa, S. L., & Kim, J. W. 2006. Extending the faultline model to geographically dispersed teams: How colocated subgroups can impair group functioning. Academy of Management Journal, 49 (4): 679–692.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  110. * Price, K. H., Shumate, K. M. Rowe, N. A. Lavelle, J. J., & Henley, A. B. 2007. The complementary effects of relational dissimilarity and group faultlines: A multi-level analysis of diversity, Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Academy of Management, 3–8 August 2007. Philadelphia, PA.

  111. * Puck, J., Rygl, D., & Kittler, M. 2006. Cultural antecedents and performance consequences of open communication and knowledge transfer in multicultural process-innovation teams. Journal of Organisational Transformation and Social Change, 3 (2): 223–241.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  112. * Randel, A. E. 2003. The salience of culture in multinational teams and its relation to team citizenship behaviour. International Journal of Cross-Cultural Management, 3 (1): 27–44.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  113. * Raver, J. L., & Gelfand, M. J. 2005. Beyond the individual victim: Linking sexual harassment, team processes, and team performance. Academy of Management Journal, 48 (3): 387–400.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  114. * Rodriguez, R. A. 1998. Challenging demographic reductionism: A pilot study investigating diversity in group composition. Small Group Research, 29 (6): 744–759.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  115. * Rohn, A. 2004. Erklärungsgrößen und Gestaltungsformen multikultureller Arbeitsgruppen. Doctoral dissertation, Christian-Albrechts-Universität, Kiel, Germany.

  116. Rosenthal, R. 1984. Meta-analytic procedures for social research. Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.

    Google Scholar 

  117. * Sargent, L. D., & Sue-Chan, C. 2001. Does diversity affect group efficacy? The intervening role of cohesion and task interdependence. Small Group Research, 32 (4): 426–450.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  118. Shaw, M. E. 1981. Group dynamics: The psychology of small group behavior, (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.

    Google Scholar 

  119. Sitkin, S. B., & Roth, N. L. 1993. Explaining the limited effectiveness of legalistic “remedies” for trust/distrust. Organization Science, 4 (3): 367–392.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  120. Smith, K. G., Smith, K. A., Olian, J. D., Sims Jr, H. P., O’Bannon, D. P., & Scully, J. A. 1994. Top management team demography and process: The role of social integration and communication. Administrative Science Quarterly, 39 (3): 412–438.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  121. Stahl, G. K. 2006. Synergy springs from cultural revolution. Financial Times, 6 October.

  122. Stahl, G. K. 2008. Cultural dynamics and impact of cultural distance within mergers and acquisitions. In M. Peterson, P. Smith & D. Thomas (Eds), Handbook of cross-cultural management research: 431–448. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

    Google Scholar 

  123. Stahl, G. K., & Voigt, A. 2008. Do cultural differences matter in mergers and acquisitions? A tentative model and meta-analytic examination. Organization Science, 19 (1): 160–176.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  124. Staples, D. S., & Zhao, L. 2006. The effects of cultural diversity in virtual teams versus face-to-face teams. Group Decision and Negotiation, 15 (4): 389–406.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  125. Steers, R. M., & Rhodes, S. R. 1978. Major influences on employee attendance: A process model. Journal of Applied Psychology, 63 (4): 391–407.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  126. Steiner, I. D. 1972. Group process and productivity. New York: Academic Press.

    Google Scholar 

  127. Stewart, G. L. 2006. A meta-analytic review of relationships between team design features and team performance. Journal of Management, 32 (1): 29–55.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  128. Tajfel, H. 1982. Social psychology of intergroup relations. Annual Review of Psychology, 33: 1–39.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  129. Thomas, D. A. 2004. Diversity as strategy Harvard Business Review, 82 (9): 98–108.

  130. Thomas, D. A., & Ely, R. J. 1996. Making differences matter. Harvard Business Review, 74 (5): 79–90.

    Google Scholar 

  131. * Thomas, D. C. 1999. Cultural diversity and work group effectiveness. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, 30 (2): 242–263.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  132. * Thomas, D. C., Ravlin, E. C., & Wallace, A. W. 1996. Effect of cultural diversity in work groups. In M. Erez & S. B. Bacharach (Eds), Research in the sociology of organizations, Vol. 14: 1–33. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.

    Google Scholar 

  133. Thomas, D. C., Stahl, G. K., Ravlin, E. C., Poelmans, S., Pekerti, A., Maznevski, M. L., Lazarova, M. B., Elron, E., Ekelund, B. Z., Cerdin, J. L., Brislin, R., Aycan, Z., & Au, K. 2008. Cultural intelligence: Domain and assessment. International Journal of Cross Cultural Management, 8 (2): 123–143.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  134. * Timmerman, T. A. 2000. Racial diversity, age diversity, interdependence, and team performance. Small Group Research, 31 (5): 592–606.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  135. Tjosvold, D. 1986. Working together to get things done: Managing for organizational productivity. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.

    Google Scholar 

  136. Triandis, H. 1959. Cognitive similarity and interpersonal communication in industry. Journal of Applied Psychology, 43 (5): 321–326.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  137. Triandis, H. 1960. Cognitive similarity and communication in a dyad. Human Relations, 13 (2): 175–183.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  138. Tung, R. L. 1993. Managing cross-national and intra-national diversity. Human Resource Management, 32 (4): 461–477.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  139. Tung, R. L. 1995. Guest Editor's introduction: Strategic human resource challenge: Managing diversity. International Journal of Human Resource Management, 6 (3): 482–493.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  140. Tung, R. L. 2008. The cross-cultural research imperative: The need to balance cross-national and intra-national diversity. Journal of International Business Studies, 39 (1): 41–46.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  141. * Van der Vegt, G. S., & Bunderson, J. S. 2005. Learning and performance in multidisciplinary teams: The importance of collective team identification. Academy of Management Journal, 48 (3): 532–547.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  142. Van Knippenberg, D., & Schippers, M. C. 2007. Work group diversity. Annual Review of Psychology, 58: 515–541.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  143. Walsh, J. P. 1988. Selectivity and selective perception: An investigation of managers’ belief structures and information processing. Academy of Management Journal, 31 (4): 873–897.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  144. * Watson, W. E., Kumar, K., & Michaelsen, L. K. 1993. Cultural diversity's impact on interaction process and performance: Comparing homogeneous and diverse task groups. Academy of Management Journal, 36 (3): 590–602.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  145. * Watson, W. E., Johnson, L., & Merrit, D. 1998. Team orientation, self orientation, and diversity in task groups. Group & Organization Management, 23 (2): 161–188.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  146. * Watson, W. E., Johnson, L., & Zgourides, G. D. 2002. The influence of ethnic diversity on leadership, group process, and performance: An examination of learning teams. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 26 (1): 1–16.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  147. Webber, S. S., & Donahue, L. M. 2001. Impact of highly and less job-related diversity on work group cohesion and performance: A meta-analysis. Journal of Management, 27 (2): 141–162.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  148. Weber, Y., Shenkar, O., & Raveh, A. 1996. National and corporate cultural fit in mergers and acquisitions: An exploratory study. Management Science, 42 (8): 1215–1227.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  149. Weick, K. E. 1969. The social psychology of organizing. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.

    Google Scholar 

  150. * Wernet, G. G. 2006. Relationship conflict and conflict resolution strategies in multicultural teams. In P. L. Curseu (Ed.), Group composition and effectiveness: 116–131. Cluj-Napoca: ASCR Press.

    Google Scholar 

  151. Wiersema, M. F., & Bantel, K. A. 1992. Top management team demography and corporate strategic change. Academy of Management Journal, 35 (1): 91–122.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  152. Williams, K. Y., & O’Reilly III, C. A. 1998. Demography and diversity in organizations: A review of 40 years of research. In B. M. Staw & L. L. Cummings (Eds), Research in organizational behavior, Vol. 20: 77–140. Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.

    Google Scholar 

  153. Yetton, P. W., & Bottger, P. C. 1983. The relationships among group size, member ability, social decision schemes, and performance. Organizational Behavior and Human Performance, 32 (2): 145–159.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

This paper has been nominated for the Temple/AIB Best Paper Award and published in the Proceedings of the AIB 2008 Conference, Milan, Italy. Previous versions of this paper were presented at the Academy of Management Annual Meeting (2007) and the Academy of International Business Annual Meeting (2008). We are grateful to the editor and three anonymous reviewers for their guidance and suggestions. Financial support by IMD and INSEAD is gratefully acknowledged.

Author information

Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Günter K Stahl.

Additional information

Accepted by Rosalie Tung, Area Editor, 22 July 2009. This paper has been with the authors for four revisions.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Stahl, G., Maznevski, M., Voigt, A. et al. Unraveling the effects of cultural diversity in teams: A meta-analysis of research on multicultural work groups. J Int Bus Stud 41, 690–709 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1057/jibs.2009.85

Download citation

Keywords

  • diversity
  • culture
  • multicultural teams
  • team performance
  • meta-analysis