AuthorBhappu, Anita Diana, 1969-
Business Administration, Management.
Sociology, Ethnic and Racial Studies.
AdvisorGutek, Barbara A.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractAlthough it is often anticipated that demographic diversity in decision-making teams will enhance decision quality because individuals will offer unique perspectives, there is little empirical support for this hypothesis. Diverse work teams usually suffer from poor communication and are prone to conflict because individuals are so different from each other. My dissertation research tries to better understand how demographic diversity affects individuals in teams by examining the team decision-making process in depth. I study the intervening process variables of conflict and miscommunication, as well as the outcome variables of team identity and decision quality. I also examine how communication media affect individuals in these same teams. I conducted a field experiment. Subjects were assigned to conditions based on their actual roles in an organization. Using a balanced 2 x 2 design, I constructed demographically diverse and homogenous work teams along the dimensions of organizational function, racial-ethnic minority status, and sex. Teams communicated face-to-face or using computer-mediated communication technology. Results indicate that demographic diversity has both a positive and a negative effect on the ability of individuals to identify with their team and to negotiate higher quality decisions. Results also show that when teams' communication was computer mediated, individuals in these teams had weaker team identity and lower decision quality. An intervening process theory involving miscommunication and conflict is supported.
Degree ProgramGraduate College