Handbook on Women in Business and Management
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Handbook on Women in Business and Management

Edited by Diana Bilimoria and Sandy Kristin Piderit

This comprehensive Handbook presents specially commissioned original essays on the societal roles and contexts facing women in business and management, the specific career and work–life issues of women in these fields, organizational processes affecting women, and the role of women as leaders in business and management. The essays shed light on the extant structures and practices of society and organizations that constrain or facilitate women’s representation, treatment, quality of life, and success.
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Chapter 10: Sex, Sex Similarity and Sex Diversity Effects in Teams: The Importance of Situational Factors

Laura M. Graves and Gary N. Powell


1 Laura M. Graves and Gary N. Powell Today’s organizations are increasingly using work teams as tools to achieve their strategic objectives (Cohen and Bailey, 1997; Lawler et al., 1995; Marquardt and Horvarth, 2001; Snow et al., 1996; Stewart et al., 1999). Teams produce goods and provide services, design new products, solve organizational problems, and even lead entire organizations. Teams are common across industries as diverse as health care, automobile manufacturing, financial services and electronics. Moreover, the proliferation of teams is a worldwide phenomenon. Global organizations such as IBM, Heineken, BP and Glaxo-Wellcome use teams to achieve global efficiencies, respond to regional markets, and transfer knowledge throughout their organizations. As a result of women’s increased participation in the global labor force (Powell and Graves, 2003), teams are more likely to include both women and men than ever before. Diversity in teams on the basis of member sex may affect the experiences of individual team members and overall team effectiveness. At the individual level, two types of effects may occur: sex effects and sex similarity effects. Sex effects arise when men’s and women’s experiences as team members differ (for example, Eagly and Karau, 1991). Sex similarity effects occur when team members’ experiences differ as a function of the extent to which they are similar to their team mates on the basis of sex (for example, Chatman and O’Reilly, 2004; Konrad et al., 1992; Tsui et al., 1992). At the team level, sex diversity effects arise when team cohesion and performance...

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