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J Appl Psychol. 2008 Jan;93(1):225-34. doi: 10.1037/0021-9010.93.1.225.

Unlocking the effects of gender faultlines on team creativity: is activation the key?

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  • 1The Eller College of Management, The University of Arizona, Tucson, Z 85721-0108, USA. mpearsal@email.arizona.edu


The purpose of this study was to use faultline theory to examine the effects of gender diversity on team creativity. Results from 80 teams working on an idea generation task indicated that the activation of gender faultlines negatively affected the number and overall creativity of ideas. However, gender faultlines that were not activated had no effect. Results also indicated that the relationship between activated gender faultlines and team creativity was partially mediated by the level of conflict within the team. Specifically, emotional conflict partially mediated the effects of activated gender faultlines on the number of ideas generated. Implications are discussed, as well as possible limitations and directions for future research.

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