Functional diversity appropriateness: members' and managers' differential perceptions

J.M.P. Gevers, B.A. Driedonks, M. Jelinek, A.J. Weele, van

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Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to investigate how perceptions of team performance and teamwork processes relate to functional diversity appropriateness perceptions (FDAP), that is, whether one believes that the right functions are represented in a team. Thereby, the authors distinguish between perceptions of team managers and team members. Design/methodology/approach – The study involved a cross-sectional survey study among 48 sourcing teams from 12 multinational companies, all from different industries. Findings – Members’ and managers’ congruent perceptions of performance showed differential relationships with their perceptions of the team’s functional diversity appropriateness. For managers, perceptions of team performance and functional diversity appropriateness were directly and positively related. For team members, this relationship was moderated by teamwork behavior. Moreover, unlike team members, purchasing managers did not consider functionally diverse teams to be more suitable for executing sourcing tasks. Research limitations/implications – This study identified teamwork behavior as a critical element for explaining the differences in FDAP of members and managers of sourcing teams. Practical implications – Rather than homogenizing team structures, managers should stimulate good teamwork behavior that allows for an the integration of interests and insights from different functional areas. Originality/value – This study adds to functional diversity literature as well as perceptual distance literature by revealing how different team effectiveness criteria shape managers’ and members’ perceptions of functional diversity appropriateness.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)709-725
JournalJournal of Managerial Psychology
Volume30
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • Teams
  • Diversity attitudes
  • Functional diversity
  • Perceptual distance
  • Team performance

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