A well-worn research debate is whether diversity is beneficial or detrimental to team success. On one hand, diversity has shown to facilitate team performance and engender creativity, yet studies have also found that diversity can have ill effects for team members and their work. Prior work has focused on mechanisms that lead to positive versus negative effects in teams by focusing on social category and information processing theories; however, the broader social psychological and sociological literature suggests additional social structural factors may play a role. In this article, I review findings suggesting that social structures, such as power and status of the team, may ultimately affect the link between work team diversity and performance outcomes. I make recommendations on how future research should not only consider the type and amount of work team diversity, but also focus on the social structure context in which diversity resides.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Social Psychology