Nowadays, more and more organizations are dependent on work teams for developing innovative products, making important business decisions, and improving efficiency. Therefore, understanding how diversity in the composition of organizational work teams affects outcomes such as job satisfaction, creativity, and turnover will be of increasing importance. Research has advised that, unless corporations start managing diversity, they will find themselves at a competitive disadvantage.
Whereas American management literature, both popular and scholarly, is rife with advice that managers should increase workforce diversity to enhance work team effectiveness, empirical research has inconsistent findings on the impact of team diversity on performance. Several studies of team diversity have demonstrated that it has positive effects at the individual and small-group levels (Cox, Lobel, & McLeod, 1991; Watson, Kumar, & Michaelson, 1993), but others have concluded that such diverse teams perform less well than do homogeneous teams (Pelled, Eisenhardt, & Xin, 1999; Tsui, Egan, & O’Reilly, 1992). To explore the black box of diversity, researchers suggest taking a more dynamic perspective and examining the underlying mechanisms and team processes through which team diversity influences team functioning and performance.