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Birds of a Feather Sometimes Flock Together

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Presentation on theme: "Birds of a Feather Sometimes Flock Together"— Presentation transcript:

1 Birds of a Feather Sometimes Flock Together
Team Leadership, Heterophily, and Team Performance Andrew Knight University of Pennsylvania

2 Overview Team diversity Leadership, heterophily, and performance
Method, Analyses, & Results Implications

3 Team Diversity A Double-Edged Sword
Benefits of diversity Greater breadth of resources Creativity Diversity as variety Costs of diversity Opposing views Conflict Diversity as separation

4 Common Research Approaches: Group & Individual Level
Link group-level metrics of diversity to group processes Group processes: Cohesion, conflict Standard deviation as diversity metric Link an individual’s average dissimilarity to individual-level outcomes Individual outcomes: Satisfaction, turnover Euclidean distance as diversity metric

5 General Assumption: Birds of a Feather Flock Together
Homophily often assumed… Team members have positive perceptions of similar others and negative perceptions of different others Grounded in similarity-attraction theories …but seldom tested Very little team diversity research at the dyad level Little exploration of actual relationships Workplace may place boundary conditions around homophily Roles and role structures Leadership, power, social influence

6 Homophily varies across teams
Hypothesis 1: Homophily varies across teams

7 Team Leadership Team leaders set the tone for a team
Shape team climates Reinforce certain types of behaviors Model appropriate behaviors Leaders who take an inclusive approach may model positive cross-category relations

8 Leader inclusiveness is positively related to heterophily
Hypothesis 2: Leader inclusiveness is positively related to heterophily

9 Heterophily & Team Performance Back to the Sword
Gaining the benefits of diversity Positive cross-category relations yield access to diverse information and resources Diversity in KSAs aids in problem-solving, creativity Avoiding the costs of diversity Positive relations aid in coordination Positive relations mitigate the effects of conflict

10 Heterophily is positively related to team performance
Hypothesis 3: Heterophily is positively related to team performance

11 Method: Research Setting
Team-based military competition 9-person teams navigate a 9km obstacle course Teams train for nearly 4 months to prepare for the one-day event

12 Method: Sample 33 teams 381 individuals
Composed of cadets from the hosting academy Training teams ranged from 10 to 16 members 381 individuals 86% male 79% White Mean age = 20.3 (SD = 1.4)

13 Start of Formal Training
Method: Procedure Month 1 Month 2 Month 3 Month 4 Team Roster Confirmed Time 1 Survey Time 2 Survey Time 3 Survey Time 4 Survey Competition OPORD Published Start of Formal Training

14 Method: Predictor Variables (All at T1)
Team-level Leader inclusiveness: 5-item scale completed by team leader “Effective team leaders carefully weigh members’ opinions.” Controls: Prior competition experience, Athletic GPA, Military GPA Individual-level Class (i.e., freshman, sophomore, junior, senior) Gender Branch choice (e.g., infantry, artillery, medical, intelligence) Dyad-level Same or different category membership for class, gender, branch choice (0 = Same; 1 = Different)

15 Method: Criterion Variables
Dyad-level criterion: Friendship (T3) “How much did you socialize with X in your free time during the past week?” Members rated one another on a 5-point scale in a round-robin fashion Team-level criterion: Team performance (T5) Team total score in the military competition Scored by trained competition officials

16 Analyses: The Social Relations Model via RCM
Random coefficient model Random intercepts for team, actor, partner Estimate A-P covariance and within-dyad covariance Random slope for “homophily” effects Fixed effects for category membership and diversity Extracted homophily slope coefficients to test team performance hypothesis SAS PROC MIXED

17 Analyses: Sample SAS PROC MIXED Code
proc mixed covtest data=t3srm; class dyad GROUP actbranch partbranch; model frd = actbranch partbranch difbranch leader leader*difbranch / solution ddfm=SATTERTH; random a1-a16 p1-p16 intercept difbranch / solution sub=group type=lin(5) ldata=g; repeated / type=cs sub=dyad(group); ODS Output SolutionR = r_difbranch; run; Fixed Effects Cross-Level Int. Random Intercepts Random Slope Within-Dyad Cov Output Coeffs.

18 Results: Null Variance Decomposition
Reciprocity Generalized: .32 Dyadic: .61 % σ2 Team 1.2% Actor 43.5% Partner 6.5% Dyad & Residual 48.8%

19 Results: Class Leadership & Variance in Homophily
Model 1 Model 2 Model 3 Actor Class .02 .01 Partner Class .05* .04 Class Difference -1.03** -.96** -1.64** Leader Inclusiveness .03 -.04 Class Difference X Leader Inclusiveness .20* -2 Log Likelihood 6288.4 5800.8 5797.8 AIC 6302.4 5814.8 5811.8

20 Results: Class Leadership & Variance in Homophily

21 Results: Gender Leadership & Variance in Homophily
Model 1 B Model 2 Model 3 Actor Gender -.11 -.08 Partner Gender -.20 -.21 Gender Difference -.38** -.37** -.60+ Leader Inclusiveness .11 .09 Gender Difference X Leader Inclusiveness .07 -2 Log Likelihood 6590.1 6029.6 6032.0 AIC 6604.1 6043.6 6046.0

22 Results: Branch Leadership & Variance in Homophily
Model 1 B Model 2 B Model 3 Actor Branch Choice ns Partner Branch Choice ** Branch Choice Difference -.09 .09 -2.41* Leader Inclusiveness .17 Branch Difference X Leader Inclusiveness 2.27* -2 Log Likelihood 6466.2 5966.0 5964.7 AIC 6480.2 5980.0 5978.7

23 Results: Branch Choice Leadership & Variance in Homophily

24 Results: Heterophily and Team Performance
Model 1 β Model 2 β Team Military Ability .01 .02 Team Athletic Ability .19 .20 Team Experience .41* .38* Branch Heterophily -.20 Gender Heterophily .05 Class Heterophily .46** F 3.41* 3.17* R2 .26 .42

25 Discussion: Summary of Results
Variance in homophily across teams Supported for class, gender, branch choice Models including random slopes were a better fit for the data Leadership predicts heterophily Supported for class and branch choice Members of teams with inclusive leaders are more likely to form friends with members of different classes and military branches Heterophily predicts team performance Supported only for class Teams with heterophilous relationships with respect to class perform better in the military competition

26 Discussion: Implications of Results
Birds of a feather sometimes flock together Key assumption may not hold in all work teams Some teams are more heterophilous than others Leaders may shape relational patterns in teams Inclusive leaders model positive cross-category relations Leadership as a lever for maximizing the benefits and minimizing the costs of diversity Diversity can help team performance if homophily is not the rule Key assumption of team diversity literature limits benefits To benefit from diversity, teams may need heterophily

27 Discussion: Broader Implications for Team Diversity
Examining diversity effects at the dyad level A fine-grained look at diversity Relationships are building blocks of team processes A multilevel approach to studying diversity Group composition research is inherently multilevel Dyadic approach helps “unpack” variance Develop and test comprehensive theories of team composition with precision

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