(Mitigating) the self-fulfillment of gender stereotypes in teams: The interplay of competence attributions, behavioral dominance, individual performance, and diversity beliefs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

We challenge the social categorization perspective in the team diversity literature by arguing that stereotypes and not favoritism for members of the same social category govern processes and dynamics in gender-diverse teams. We posit that team members’ gender and task stereotypes generate competence attributions that shape individual team members’ dominance behavior and performance in a self-fulfilling way: Team members who are attributed more competence behave more dominantly and outperform those who are attributed less competence. We further argue that pro-diversity beliefs may prevent this self-fulfilling tendency of stereotypes by inhibiting individuals’ stereotype-confirming behavior. Hypotheses were tested with 97 gender-heterogeneous four-person student teams working on stereotypically masculine- or feminine-typed problems. Team members estimated each other’s competence prior to collaboration. Diversity beliefs were manipulated to be either pro-diversity or pro-similarity and dominance was observed with behavioral coding. Multilevel path modeling showed that competence attributions mediated the effects of stereotypical gender-task fit on individual dominance behavior and performance under pro-similarity beliefs but not under pro-diversity beliefs. Our study thus shows that the self-fulfilling tendencies of gender stereotypes in teams can be mitigated by instituting pro-diversity beliefs.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2022

Keywords

  • BACKLASH
  • EXPERTISE
  • INFORMATION
  • INTEGRATIVE MODEL
  • METAANALYSIS
  • ORGANIZATIONS
  • SOLO STATUS
  • SYSTEM-JUSTIFICATION
  • THREAT
  • WORK GROUP DIVERSITY
  • diversity
  • diversity beliefs
  • gender
  • stereotyping
  • teams

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