Several comprehensive reviews are united in drawing the conclusion that the cumulative research evidence on work team diversity is equivocal. Rather than review the extant state of diversity research, in this paper we redirect attention to the context of workplace diversity as a possible explanation for these mixed findings. We discuss how diversity context may be conceptualized, specify various aspects of this context at multiple levels of analysis, and consider how contextual variables can shape the outcomes of work team diversity. We present findings from a literature review (1999-2006) to identify key trends and patterns of results reported in recent research as well as contextual factors that have received attention to date. This paper also considers how the non-significant, positive, negative, and curvilinear effects of diversity reported in studies can be explained by the contextual factors outlined. Implications for future research are also discussed.