Decision Making Style Diversity and Faultlines in Teams

Open Access
Author:
Fitzgerald, Dinora Rose
Graduate Program:
Psychology
Degree:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
October 09, 2013
Committee Members:
  • Susan Mohammed, Thesis Advisor
  • Sam Hunter, Thesis Advisor
  • Stephanie A Shields, Thesis Advisor
  • Gul Kremer, Thesis Advisor
Keywords:
  • diversity
  • decision making style
  • faultlines
  • teams
  • conflict
  • process conflict
  • conflict resolution
Abstract:
As the workplace continues to become increasingly diverse and complex, understanding how multifaceted forms of diversity affects team processes and performance is crucial. This study addresses how rational and spontaneous decision making style diversity affects process conflict within teams and how that process conflict then affects team performance. Additionally faultlines formed by the alignment of decision making style diversity and gender diversity is examined as a moderator of the decision making style diversity to process conflict relationship. Conflict resolution is examined as a moderator of the process conflict to team performance relationship. The sample was 300 individuals in 86 teams enrolled in an Introduction to Engineering Design course at a large mid-Atlantic University. Participants filled out paper-and-pencil surveys after their team had completed their first group project and performance was measured by the grade provided by the instructor on the first project. Moderated hierarchical regression was used to test the hypotheses. While none of the hypotheses were supported, ancillary analyses indicate that the relationship between group composition and process complex is complex, as is the relationship between process conflict and group performance. Implications for practices and research are discussed as well as possible future directions.