Kim De Meulenaere
Many researchers have investigated the implications of the socio-demographic composition of teams and organizations, in particular the diversity of demographic attributes such as tenure, age, gender and ethnic background, on outcomes such as decision-making quality, turnover, cohesion and effectiveness. However, so far, research results remain inconclusive for two reasons. First, diversity is a double-edged sword, simultaneously entailing advantages (increasing the adaptive capacity of teams and organizations) and disadvantages (reducing cohesion). Second, little is known about the antecedents of team and organizational diversity, and how an organization’s human resource management shapes the socio-demographic composition of its members. The goal of this research therefore is twofold. First, we want to gain insight in the antecedents of diversity, by investigating sorting processes and entry and exit of individuals into and out of organizations. Second, we want to investigate the consequences of diversity, thereby discovering the circumstances that allow diversity to have positive effects for teams or organizations, or vice versa, the circumstances in which diversity will be disadvantageous. In studying both research questions, we will focus on the role of an organization’s human resource management style as a main driver of the dynamics of demographic diversity.