The Preventative Benefit of Group Diversification on Group Performance Decline: An Investigation with Latent Growth Models

J Li, Meir Shemla, J Wegge

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4 Citations (Web of Science)
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Abstract

Integrating the open systems perspective of groups and the contingency approach to diversity, we study how group diversification (i.e., a process in which a group becomes more diverse over time as members join and/or leave the group) affects group performance change in an adverse task environment. We argue that diversification benefits performance by reducing group performance decline in times of adversity. Group size increase, however, attenuates this preventative benefit of group diversification. Focusing on organizational tenure and gender, we studied 279 sales groups (3277 individuals) in a large German financial consulting company from 2004 to 2008. In this period, a national legislative change prompted the company to withdraw its star product from the market and presented adversity to the sales groups. Results from latent growth models (LGMs) overall support our arguments. This research extends the (conditional) beneficial view of diversity from a static theoretical space about group being diverse to a dynamic one about group becoming diverse.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Organizational Behavior
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank our action editor Shalini Khazanchi and the three anonymous reviewers for their valuable suggestions. We also thank Christophe Boone, Bertolt Meyer, and participants in the research seminars at Antwerp University, Groningen University, Peking University, Shanghai Jiaotong University, and Renmin University of China for their helpful comments on the earlier versions of the manuscript.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Authors. Journal of Organizational Behavior published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

Research programs

  • RSM ORG

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