Being Different: A Study of Relational Demography and the Influence of Individual and Team Characteristics
Keller, Kirsten Michelle
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This study examined the effects of gender and ethnic dissimilarity to team members on the individual level outcomes of team commitment, turnover intentions, and psychological empowerment. Results provided some support that dissimilarity to one's teammates has the most adverse effects for males and African Americans. In addition, there was some support that ethnic and gender identification and climate for ethnic diversity may be important moderators of this relationship. Specifically, individuals with low ethnic and gender identification felt more empowered when dissimilar to teammates, while individuals with high ethnic and gender identification had similar levels of empowerment regardless of their dissimilarity to teammates. Focusing on the team context, a positive climate for ethnic diversity reduced the negative consequences for individuals who often find themselves in the demographic minority, while, unexpectedly, a low climate for ethnic diversity seemed to heighten feelings of empowerment for individuals more dissimilar to their teammates.