Attaining value from nationality diversity requires active diversity management, which organizations often employ in the form of diversity training programs. Interestingly, however, the previously reported effects of diversity training are often weak and, sometimes, even negative. This situation calls for research on the conditions under which diversity training helps or harms teams. We propose that diversity training can increase team creativity, but only for teams with less positive pretraining diversity beliefs (i.e., teams with a greater need for such training) and that are sufficiently diverse in nationality. Comparing the creativity of teams that attended nationality diversity training versus control training, we found that for teams with less positive diversity beliefs, diversity training increased creative performance when the team's nationality diversity was high, but undermined creativity when the team's nationality diversity was low. Diversity training had less impact on teams with more positive diversity beliefs, and training effects were not contingent upon these teams' diversity. Speaking to the underlying process, we showed that these interactive effects were driven by the experienced team efficacy of the team members. We discuss theoretical and practical implications for nationality diversity management.

, , , ,,
Journal of Applied Psychology
Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University

Homan, A., Buengeler, C., Eckhoff, R. A., van Ginkel, W., & Voelpel, S. C. (2015). The interplay of diversity training and diversity beliefs on team creativity in nationality diverse teams. Journal of Applied Psychology, 100(5), 1456–1467. doi:10.1037/apl0000013