Keywords

Diversity in the workplace, Leadership, Social distance, Teams in the workplace

Abstract

Leading multicultural teams is one of the main challenges faced by today’s leaders. The advantages often associated with multicultural teams (e.g., collaboration and integration of different knowledge, ideas, and approaches to a task) are often the major challenges in leading these teams. The literature on effective multicultural teams has identified leadership as an important factor for team effectiveness. Therefore, the goal of this study was to examine the effect of leader social distance in multicultural teams. A lab study was designed to test the impact of experimentally-manipulated leader social distance (socially close or socially distant) on the relationship between team member diversity and team affect, processes, and performance. Results varied for female and for male teams. Specifically, the nature of the interactions between leadership and team diversity depended on the specific cultural dimension measured and the gender of the team. In the end, the impact of diversity on culture in female teams was improved by close leaders (the relationships were positive), and worsened by distant leaders (the relationships were negative) for team affect, processes and viability. For male teams, the impact of diversity was always negative in both leader conditions; however, in distant leader conditions the relationship was more negative. Implications for theory and practice are discussed along with suggestions for future research.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2011

Semester

Fall

Advisor

Salas, Eduardo

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

College

College of Sciences

Department

Psychology

Degree Program

Psychology; Industrial and Organizational Track

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0004100

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0004100

Language

English

Release Date

December 2011

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)

Subjects

Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences, Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic

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