This study attempts to open the black box of top management team (TMT) diversity research by examining the following research questions: (a) how TMT diversity has effects on emergent team processes, (b) when those effects are shaped by key environmental contingencies, and (c) whether emergent team processes mediate the TMT diversity and firm performance relationship. To address these issues, we conduct a series of meta-analytic examination. First, using a sample of 208 effect sizes from 51 studies covering multiple industries across 10 countries, we test how two distinct types of diversity (task- and relations-oriented diversity) are differentially associated with two types of emergent team processes (information elaboration and social categorization) in TMTs. Second, meta-analytic regression analyses are conducted to examine how national culture (power distance and collectivism) and industry characteristics (munificence and dynamism) influence the diversity effects on emergent team processes. Third, we conduct a structural equation modeling analysis to examine the relationships among diversity (input)–information elaboration and social categorization–based processes (mediators)–firm performance (output), incorporating additional 895 effect sizes from 152 studies. Our findings indicate that while relations-oriented diversity has apparent relationships with social categorization–based processes, task-oriented diversity is strongly associated with both information elaboration and social categorization–based processes. Industry munificence and dynamism as well as collectivism in national culture moderate the diversity–social categorization relationships. The result of structural equation modeling also confirms the mediating paths of the TMT diversity–information elaboration/social categorization–performance links.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Applied Psychology
- Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management