Organizational Demographic Faultlines: Their Impact on Collective Organizational Identification, Firm Performance, and Firm Innovation

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Item Type Journal paper
Abstract In this study, we seek to understand the consequences of demographic faultlines at the organizational level. Drawing from the faultline and cross-categorization literature, we suggest that organizational demographic faultlines (based on age and gender) have the potential to either reduce or enhance employees’ collective organizational identification and, thereby, indirectly influence firm performance and innovation. Whether organizational demographic faultlines have detrimental or beneficial effects depends on the functional heterogeneity within faultline-based demographic subgroups, where heterogeneity is defined as the extent to which subgroup members belong to different functional departments. We theorize that this functional heterogeneity alters the degree of social integration between demographic subgroups. Results from a multisource field study of demographic faultlines among 5,495 employees in 82 small and medium-sized firms (< 250 employees) support our model. We demonstrate that organizational demographic faultlines have important consequences, and we show that functional heterogeneity changes whether these consequences are negative or positive.
Authors Leicht-Deobald, Ulrich; Hüttermann, Hendrik; Bruch, Heike & Lawrence, Barbara S.
Projects Leicht-Deobald, Ulrich (2015) Managing Boundaries within Organizations [fundamental research project]
Journal or Publication Title Journal of Management Studies
Language English
Keywords organizational demographic faultlines; functional heterogeneity; collective organizational identification; firm performance; firm innovation
Subjects business studies
social sciences
HSG Classification contribution to scientific community
HSG Profile Area SoM - Responsible Corporate Competitiveness (RoCC)
Refereed Yes
Date 1 December 2021
Publisher Blackwell Publishing Limited
Volume 58
Number 8
Page Range 2240-2274
Number of Pages 34
ISSN 0022-2380
Publisher DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/JOMS.12747
Official URL https://doi.org/10.1111/joms.12747
Depositing User Dr. Ulrich Leicht-Deobald
Date Deposited 02 Sep 2021 08:08
Last Modified 01 Mar 2022 08:17
URI: https://www.alexandria.unisg.ch/publications/264225

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Leicht-Deobald, Ulrich; Hüttermann, Hendrik; Bruch, Heike & Lawrence, Barbara S. (2021) Organizational Demographic Faultlines: Their Impact on Collective Organizational Identification, Firm Performance, and Firm Innovation. Journal of Management Studies, 58 (8). 2240-2274. ISSN 0022-2380

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https://www.alexandria.unisg.ch/id/eprint/264225
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