UCL School of Management

Research project

Understanding group diversity over time


Why do some diverse groups outperform homogeneous groups, while others fail to capitalize on their diversity? A long history of research has theorized that diversity brings both informational benefits and interpersonal challenges to groups. In this stream of research, I consider the processes through which diversity affects those benefits and challenges to understand both the short term implications of diversity for micro-episodes of group interaction and the longer term development of diverse groups over time.


Demographic changes over the past decades have made diversity a necessity for most organizations. Managing diverse sets of collaborators is therefore a critical challenge for organizations. Moreover, while theory suggests that diverse groups should have the potential to outperform homogeneous groups, empirical results have yet to conclusively demonstrate that promise. This research offers new explanations for the paradox of diversity and illustrates processes organizations can use to improve performance in diverse groups.

Selected publications

Harvey, S., Peterson, R. S., & Anand, N. (2014). The process of team boundary spanning in multi-organizational contexts. Small Group Research: an international journal of theory, investigation and application. doi:10.1177/1046496414534474 [link]
Harvey, S. (2014). When accuracy isn’t everything: The value of demographic differences to information elaboration in teams. Group and Organization Management. doi:10.1177/1059601114561786 [link]
Kannan, S., Harvey, S., & Peterson, R. S. (2016). A dynamic perspective on diverse teams: Moving from the dual-process model to a dynamic coordination-based model of diverse team performance. The Academy of Management Annals. doi:10.1080/19416520.2016.1120973 [link]

Link to the publication’s UCL Discovery page

Last updated Friday, 5 February 2016


Research groups

Organisations & Innovation

Research areas

Social psychology of organizations

Research topics

Coordination; Diversity; Group dynamics; Group processes; Group structure