Tensions Between Diversity and Shared Leadership: The Role of Team Political Skill
Small Group Research
Maintaining workplace diversity is an important legal and ethical issue in modern organizations. However, demographic heterogeneity might discourage the development of shared leadership in work teams as individuals are inherently not inclined to share leadership roles with dissimilar others. The present study is designed to investigate how political skill assists team members to overcome interpersonal dissimilarities and become engaged in mutual influence with their peers. By studying 63 student project teams using multiwave, multisource surveys, we find that team demographic faultlines on gender and race are negatively associated with shared leadership magnitude and therefore discourage team task performance. However, such destructive direct (on shared leadership magnitude) and indirect (on team performance) effects of team demographic faultlines can be mitigated when the team is staffed with many politically skilled members. Our findings bring important implications for organizations in building and encouraging shared leadership, especially in newly formed professional work teams.
team demographic faultlines, political skill, shared leadership
Xu, Ning; Chiu, Chia-Yen; and Treadway, Darren C., "Tensions Between Diversity and Shared Leadership: The Role of Team Political Skill" (2019). Articles & Book Chapters. 522.