Effects of Diversity in Teams and Workgroups: A Qualitative Systematic Review
Seyhan Güver, Renate Motschnig

Over the past few decades, scholars have attempted to explore the effects of diversity on teams and workgroups. This study aims to assess the state of the art, to expose new trends in diversity research, and to consolidate the results of previous studies in order to infer common wisdom about effects of diversity on teams/workgroups in organizations. In this paper, 122laboratory and field studies, and 17 review studies conducted between 1959 and 2016were qualitatively and systematically analyzed. It has been observed that although there is no single commonly accepted effect of diversity on performance per se, it tends to have a negative impact on cohesion, communication, and integration, and is likely to increase conflict and turnover. On the positive side, diversity - up to a certain limit - tends to improve decision-making and problem-solving processes through higher creativity and innovation potential. Furthermore, it was demonstrated that reactions of team members to diversity vary; there is no straightforward association between diversity and team dynamics, as many factors influence this association. Nevertheless, this paper investigates how leaders/managers of multicultural can make the best of a diverse team based on the insights of this review.

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