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Title: Relational diversity, social integration and individual effectiveness : a social self-regulation perspective
Author: Guillaume, Yves R. F.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3521 9430
Awarding Body: Aston University
Current Institution: Aston University
Date of Award: 2008
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Relational demographers and dissimilarity researchers contend that group members who are dissimilar (vs. similar) to their peers in terms of a given diversity attribute (e.g. demographics, attitudes, values or traits) feel less attached to their work group, experience less satisfying and more conflicted relationships with their colleagues, and consequently are less effective. However, qualitative reviews suggest empirical findings tend to be weak and inconsistent (Chattopadhyay, Tluchowska and George, 2004; Riordan, 2000; Tsui and Gutek, 1999), and that it remains unclear when, how and to what extent such differences (i.e. relational diversity) affect group members social integration (i.e. attachment with their work group, satisfaction and conflicted relationships with their peers) and effectiveness (Riordan, 2000). This absence of meta-analytically derived effect size estimates and the lack of an integrative theoretical framework leave practitioners with inconclusive advice regarding whether the effects elicited by relational diversity are practically relevant, and if so how these should be managed. The current research develops an integrative theoretical framework, which it tests by using meta-analysis techniques and adding two further empirical studies to the literature. The first study reports a meta-analytic integration of the results of 129 tests of the relationship between relational diversity with social integration and individual effectiveness. Using meta-analytic and structural equation modelling techniques, it shows different effects of surface- and deep-level relational diversity on social integration Specifically, low levels of interdependence accentuated the negative effects of surface-level relational diversity on social integration, while high levels of interdependence accentuated the negative effects of deep-level relational diversity on social integration. The second study builds on a social self-regulation framework (Abrams, 1994) and suggests that under high levels of interdependence relational diversity is not one but two things: visibility and separation. Using ethnicity as a prominent example it was proposed that separation has a negative effect on group members effectiveness leading for those high in visibility and low in separation to overall positive additive effects, while to overall negative additive effects for those low in visibility and high in separation. These propositions were sustained in a sample of 621 business students working in 135 ethnically diverse work groups in a business simulation course over a period of 24 weeks. The third study suggests visibility has a positive effect on group members self-monitoring, while separation has a negative effect. The study proposed that high levels of visibility and low levels of separation lead to overall positive additive effects on self-monitoring but overall negative additive effects for those low in visibility and high in separation. Results from four waves of data on 261 business students working in 69 ethnically diverse work groups in a business simulation course held over a period of 24 weeks support these propositions.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Business and Administrative studies