Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Dr. Natalie Allen


The main purpose of this research was to investigate the impact of two moderators - time in contact with one’s group members, and self-monitoring -- on the relation between heterogeneity and various group- and individual-level outcomes. Specifically, the outcomes of interest at the group level include group performance and team viability, and at the individual level include organizational citizenship behaviour (directed toward both the individual and the organization). Based on the findings of Harrison, Price, and Bell (1998), diversity and dissimilarity in both surface- (gender, ethnicity, first language) and deep-level (goal orientation dimensions) variables were hypothesized to be negatively related to the outcomes variables. Contact time was predicted to moderate the diversity-outcome relation such that, as teams interact more, the impact of surface-level heterogeneity would be reduced, while the impact of deep-level heterogeneity would be amplified. Selfmonitoring was introduced as a potential moderating variable of individual-level relations, such that amongst high self-monitors, it was expected that the relations between both surface- and deep-level dissimilarity and the outcome variables of interest would be weakened. Data were collected from 290 engineering students working in 68 project design teams. Findings from a series of hierarchical regression analyses provided mixed support for the hypotheses. Language heterogeneity was negatively related to both individual- and group-level outcomes. Diversity in the approach dimensions of GO had a negative (or null) influence on group-level outcomes, while diversity in the avoid dimensions of GO demonstrated a positive (or null) pattern of relations. None of the heterogeneity x iii contact time interactions tested reached significance. With respect to surface-level variables, only the interactions of language dissimilarity x self-monitoring were consistent with the hypotheses, and only at Time 1. Additionally, with respect to deeplevel variables, where significant, the interactions involving the approach GO dimensions were contrary to expectations, while the avoidance GO dimensions were consistent with predictions. This study advances earlier research on heterogeneity in that it examines diversity and dissimilarity longitudinally, introduces goal orientation to the team composition literature, and both introduces first language (as an independent variable) and self-monitoring (as a moderator) to the dissimilarity literature.



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