Date of Award

Summer 2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Engineering Management

Committee Director

Pilar Pazos

Committee Member

Charles B. Daniels

Committee Member

Rafael E. Landaeta

Committee Member

Donald Davis

Abstract

Although organizations have addressed diversity issues at the organizational-level with resulting positive employee outcomes, lack of scholarly attention to team-level interventions remain. Team-level interventions would benefit organizations more directly as they address issues directly related to task accomplishment. Since diversity may lead to negative performance results for teams, a team building intervention based on the latest empirical research was developed and tested to address the potential performance losses associated to diversity in decision-making teams. The team building intervention provides six crucial elements, namely (1) direct experience of how deep-level team diversity affect team dynamics, (2) diversity education, (3) cultivation of awareness of self and other deep-level traits, (4) self-disclosure, (5) collaborative reflection and planning, and (6) cultivation of awareness of similarities. The effectiveness of the team-building intervention was tested by an embedded mixed method approach that comprises a primary quantitative approach involving a post-test only control group experiment and conditional process modeling, and a secondary qualitative approach involving thematic analysis. Based on 68 undergraduate engineering student teams, ANOVA results show that the team building had a significant positive impact on objective performance and significant negative impact on perceived performance. Furthermore, conditional process modeling results show that benevolence trust mediate the positive impact of the team building on objective team performance. In addition, propensity to trust, attitude toward diversity and perceived diversity moderated the indirect impact of the team building on team performance. Specifically, regarding objective performance, teams with low propensity to trust, high attitude toward diversity and high perceived diversity experienced the most positive indirect effect of the team building on objective performance through benevolence trust while the teams experienced the most negative indirect effect of the team building on objective performance through competence trust. With regards to perceived performance, the teams experienced the most negative indirect impact of the team building on perceived performance through benevolence trust while they experienced the most positive indirect effect of the team building on perceived performance through competence trust. The qualitative findings support the quantitative findings. The divergent mediating impact of the two distinct dimensions of trust on team decision-making performance, the moderating role of propensity to trust, attitude toward diversity and perceived diversity, and the opposite impact of the team building on objective and perceived performance open new possibilities for future research.

DOI

10.25777/v7sm-we73

ISBN

9780355618020

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