Integrating Diversity at Different Levels: Multi-level Human Capital, Social Capital, and Demographic Diversity and their Implications for Team Effectiveness

Sabina Tasheva, Amy Hillman

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Scholars debate whether diversity is beneficial for team effectiveness and empirical evidence reveals positive, negative and insignificant effects. We argue this is partly because “diversity” is multifaceted representing different sources (e.g. demographic, human capital and social capital) and operating at different levels of analyses. We propose a theoretical model of diversity at the team level (team diversity) and within individuals (personal range) to predict how various sources of diversity influence team effectiveness. We argue that the effects of individual level diversity (personal range) and team level diversity may not be independent. Specifically, we argue that their interaction may be the missing link explaining how and why diversity impacts team outcomes. We distinguish between tasks with high and low levels of interdependence and suggest that for some sources of diversity individual and team level diversity are complementary while for others they are substitutes. We further explain how overlap in personal range may influence the complementary effects of personal range and team diversity. The implications of our model are important for further work on diversity, team effectiveness, and public policy efforts to promote organizational and upper echelons diversity.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAcademy of Management Review
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)746-765
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019

Bibliographical note

Published online 19. January 2018


  • Diversity
  • Multilevel
  • Personal range
  • Task interdependence
  • Team composition
  • Team performance

Cite this