Date of Award

9-20-2007

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PHD)

Degree Program

Global Leadership - with a specialization in Corporate and Organizational Management

Department

College of Business and Management

First Advisor

Laura Kozloski-Hart

Second Advisor

Karen Casey-Acevedo

Third Advisor

Robert C. Preziosi

Abstract

Little empirical research has focused on the personality and behavioral differences of individuals assigned to work together in workgroups. This study found that providing functional diversity training to a workgroup, using the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator' (MBTI), positively impacted workgroup performance when compared with the workgroup performance of those who did not receive the same training.

Over the last few decades, organizations have shown great interest in the concept of using teams in the workplace. Employees who work side-by-side in the same unit are routinely referred to as being part of a team. Often, organizations put groups of individuals together in teams, with the assumption that if people work together, rather than separate and apart, organizational performance will improve. Many believe that "teamwork" will lead to better performance. Stakeholders often look to the leadership of an organization expecting that efforts focused on work being done by teams will ensure delivery of a successful product (or service) to the marketplace. Unfortunately, the track record on teamwork initiatives is average at best, and replete with examples of failure at worse. While most organizations believe that they have formed teams, many of the key elements necessary for establishing a team (commonly accepted goals, agreed upon vision or mission, regular and open feedback, and measurable standards of performance) are typically missing. While there is a common belief that groups of employees placed together (working in proximity) are a team, they are more typically simply a workgroup.

One item impacting groups of workers placed together, which is rarely taken into account (and is even less-often measured), is the differences in the personality and behavior of those workers and the effects that those differences have on the performance of the workgroup. The personality and behavioral diversity of individuals within a workgroup can impact the workgroup's performance within the organization. Organizational training within workgroups, which is focused on understanding and appreciating personality and behavioral diversity, can also have great impact on performance within the organization. This research focuses on the effects of personality and behavioral diversity training (also known as functional diversity training) on workgroup performance.

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