Tainted visions: the effect of visionary leader behaviors and leader categorization tendencies on the financial performance of ethnically diverse teams

J Appl Psychol. 2012 Jan;97(1):203-13. doi: 10.1037/a0025583. Epub 2011 Sep 26.


Despite the increasing prevalence of ethnic diversity, findings regarding its effects on team performance remain contradictory. We suggest that past inconsistencies can be reconciled by examining the joint impact of leader behavior and leader categorization tendencies in ethnically diverse teams. We propose that leaders who exhibit high levels of visionary leader behavior and also have the tendency to categorize their team members into in- and out-groups will facilitate a negative effect of ethnic diversity on team communication and financial performance, whereas leaders who exhibit visionary behaviors but do not tend to categorize will lead ethnically diverse teams to positive outcomes. We find support for these ideas in a study of 100 retail outlets.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Commerce*
  • Communication*
  • Cultural Diversity*
  • Efficiency, Organizational*
  • Ethnic Groups*
  • Group Processes*
  • Humans
  • Leadership*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Workforce