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Abstract

Previous research on groups with diverse membership indicates that they generally exhibit high levels of conflict and experience low levels of cohesion; however, they also tend to outperform their homogeneous counterparts. We examine this apparent paradox and discuss a theory-based technology-oriented approach to resolving it. Based on an extensive review of three research streams―group diversity, group development, and collaborative technologies―we develop an integrated model of ongoing team interaction that describes how the purposeful deployment of certain collaborative technology capabilities, based on temporal milestones, can help leverage the positive aspects of diversity while limiting its negative aspects. We conclude by developing a set of propositions that can be tested empirically.

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