The effect of diversity on individual behavior and team and organizational performance is a rapidly growing field of study. Another growing field of study involves the effect of identity-based behavior on individual, team, and organizational outcomes. Diversity and identity, although related to each other, have not been combined in a single framework. A serious of lab studies is used to explore the effect of similarity across different identity attributes at the individual and group level, and diversity of the group, on decisions, behavior, and performance within the context of (a) multiple identity attributes and both deep and surface-level diversity; (b) task complexity; and (c) task interdependence. The results indicate that individuals do make decision and act based on similarity across multiple identity attributes and multiple diversity dimensions. Furthermore, the effect of attribute similarity is cumulative: similarity across multiple deep-level attributes, simultaneously, increases favoritism toward similar others. In addition, homogeneous groups outperformed diverse groups in tasks that were characterized by high interdependence when communication between group members was not allowed, but diverse groups outperformed homogeneous groups in the same tasks when communication between group members was allowed.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. August 2009. Major: Human Resources and Industrial Relations. Advisor: Avner Ben-Ner. 1 computer file (PDF); viii, 185 pages, appendices 1-13.
The relationship between multiple identity attributes and diversity, and individual decision making and group performance: experimental evidence..
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