Diversity is a topical issue in organizational behavior literature since diversity in both surface (i.e. age, gender, and nationality) and deep-level (i.e. values, attitudes, goal orientation, mental models, personality) attributes has been found to be a significant antecedent of team processes and performance. This article illustrates a review of the main theoretical perspectives used by scholars to elucidate the effects of diversity on work groups and a research agenda for the future. Building on the most quoted taxonomy of diversity, this articles illustrates the theoretical perspectives by considering on separate lines the theories used to elucidate diversity effects on interpersonal processes (e.g. social categorization theory, social identity theory, similarity-attraction paradigm, etc.) and on decision-making processes (e.g. information/decision-making theory, social capital theory). Finally, a research agenda is presented with the description of three important directions for the future, such as the empirical validation of a conceptual model (i.e. Categorization-Elaboration Model) recently introduced in team work literature, the consideration of the faultline model, and the integration of contextual factors as possible moderators of the effects of diversity on team processes.
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