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Fitting In: The Effects of Relational Demography and Person-Culture Fit on Group Process and Performance

Abstract

The authors integrate two complementary streams of research on “fit” that document positive impacts of similarity and negative effects of dissimilarity. Fit with an organization's culture typically focuses on similarity in values whereas relational demography examines similarity in demographic attributes. Although both streams emphasize fit and draw on similar underlying theories, little research investigates both simultaneously. In a field study with intact teams, both cultural and demographic fit had independent effects on subsequent performance; however, “deeper” value fit effects were stronger than “surface” demographic fit. Analyses by demographic group suggest that person-group fit has the greatest impact for individuals whose demographic background puts them at risk for poorer outcomes, particularly for socioeconomic status.
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