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A metatheoretical framework of diversity in teams

Mayo, Margarita; Kakarika, Maria; Mainemelis, Charalampos; Deuschel, Nicolas Till


Margarita Mayo

Charalampos Mainemelis

Nicolas Till Deuschel


In the last 22 years, research on diversity in teams has been propelled by information processing and social categorization theories, and more recently, by theories of disparity/(in)justice and access to external networks. These theories stress different diversity processes, treating team diversity respectively as variety of information, as separation, as disparity, and as variety of access. We appraise this literature by identifying major problems in the way these four foundational theories are used either alone or in combination, arguing that the related theoretical models are inherently incomplete and static. In an attempt to resolve these problems, we introduce a metatheoretical framework that relates these four foundational theories according to the metadimensions of group boundary and diversity mindset. We also propose a metatheoretical model that identifies interactions among the four diversity processes and specifies diversity response patterns to team success or failure over time. Our metatheoretical approach resolves significant omissions in the literature and penetrates into the dynamic nature of team diversity in more complex, temporally sensitive and synthetic ways.


Mayo, M., Kakarika, M., Mainemelis, C., & Deuschel, N. T. (2017). A metatheoretical framework of diversity in teams. Human Relations, 70(8), 911-939.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Dec 21, 2016
Publication Date 2017-08
Deposit Date Mar 3, 2023
Journal Human Relations
Print ISSN 0018-7267
Electronic ISSN 1741-282X
Publisher SAGE Publications
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 70
Issue 8
Pages 911-939
Public URL