Bridging Team Faultlines by Combining Task Role Assignment and Goal Structure Strategies Articles uri icon

publication date

  • March 2012

start page

  • 407

end page

  • 420


  • 2


  • 97

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0021-9010

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1939-1854


  • This study tests whether the detrimental effects of strong diversity faultlines on team performance can be counteracted by combining 2 managerial strategies: task role crosscutting and superordinate goals. We conducted a 2 (crosscut vs. aligned roles) × 2 (superordinate vs. subgroup goals) experimental study. Seventy-two 4-person teams with faultlines stemming from gender and educational major performed a complex decision-making task. The results show that teams with crosscut roles perform better when they are assigned a superordinate goal than a subgroup goal, whereas teams with aligned roles are not affected by goal manipulations. This effect is mediated by elaboration of task-relevant information. Implications for theory and management of team faultlines are discussed.