Pacific Asia Journal of the Association for Information Systems


Background: The interplay of diversity and leadership produces mixed findings in the literature. Based on the categorization-elaboration model (CEM) and diversity management (DM) literature, this study investigates the role of team leadership in a diverse ISD team. Further, this study examines the moderating roles of DM practices in the relationships between group diversity, team leadership, and project performance.

Method: This study selected a paired survey method to test the hypotheses. Eighty-two valid paired questionnaires were received from project managers and team members in ISD projects. In addition, this study used partial least squares (PLS) with a bootstrapping technique to examine the proposed model.

Results: The results show that group diversity has mixed impacts on team leadership. Furthermore, DM practices positively moderate the effect of value diversity on team leadership, as value diversity is positively related to team leadership when DM practices are more robust. At last, DM practices negatively moderate the relationship between team leadership and project performance as the effect of team leadership has weaker effects on project performance when DM practices are strong than when the practices are weak.

Conclusion: This study adds to the literature by examining team leadership in a heterogenous ISD team and providing empirical evidence for the moderating roles of DM practices in team leadership processes.