Organizational Culture and Similarity Among Team Members’ Salience of Multiple Diversity Characteristics


Amy E. Randel, Department of Management, College of Business Administration, San Diego State University, 5500 Campanile Drive, San Diego, CA 92182. E-mail: or P. Christopher Earley, School of Business, University of Connecticut, 2100 Hillside Road, Storrs, CT 06269. E-mail:


Research often has focused on the presence of individuals’ demographic differences, rather than the perception of such differences. We examined how organizational culture relates to similarity among individuals’ salience of their team members’ diversity characteristics. Moreover, we introduced a new approach to studying multiple diversity characteristics simultaneously. Team members who perceive their organizational culture as emphasizing respect for people were found to be unlikely to hold convergent views of their team members’ demographics. Also, high-performing team members were found to view the salience of demographic characteristics similarly to other team members. Our findings suggest that an organizational culture emphasizing respect for people may be associated with unexpected barriers among team members that pose a threat to effective team functioning.