Current studies of diversity in teams and organizations highlight the importance of examining activated, rather than just dormant, differences on a team. In this study, we contribute to organizational diversity theories by arguing that the activation of differences is a communicative process whereby how teams talk about their differences matters in how the activated differences affect team outcomes. Drawing on an in-depth qualitative study of real-life scientific teams, we examine the relationship between how team members activate and frame differences and how those communicative frames affect the team’s collective work. We find that how teams frame their differences affects the relationship between activated differences and team outcomes. We give practical and theoretical recommendations for the communicative management of differences on teams and in organizations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Strategy and Management