The curvilinear effect of professional faultlines on team innovation: The pivotal role of professional identity threat

Article


Mitchell, Rebecca, Boyle, Brendan and Snell, Lanchi. 2021. "The curvilinear effect of professional faultlines on team innovation: The pivotal role of professional identity threat." Applied Psychology: an international review. 71 (1), pp. 1-16. https://doi.org/10.1111/apps.12322
Article Title

The curvilinear effect of professional faultlines on team innovation: The pivotal role of professional identity threat

ERA Journal ID6098
Article CategoryArticle
AuthorsMitchell, Rebecca (Author), Boyle, Brendan (Author) and Snell, Lanchi (Author)
Journal TitleApplied Psychology: an international review
Journal Citation71 (1), pp. 1-16
Number of Pages16
Year2021
Place of PublicationUnited Kingdom
ISSN0269-994X
1464-0597
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/apps.12322
Web Address (URL)https://iaap-journals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/ftr/10.1111/apps.12322
Abstract

Past research into team faultlines has provided important insights, however, as with other aspects of compositional diversity, findings are somewhat ambiguous. This suggests the need to examine more complex and interactive effects. We draw on theorising in social categorisation and subgroups to argue that, under specific circumstances, a positive relationship between professional faultlines and innovation may exist beyond moderate (threshold) faultline strength. We posit that below this threshold, weaker faultlines have no positive impact on innovation. Further, we argue that this curvilinear relationship will be contingent on professional identity threat, such that, only when teams are characterised by identity threat will strong faultlines have a U-shaped impact on innovation. Thus, we build and investigate a model in which professional faultlines have a contingent curvilinear (U-shaped) effect on innovation, moderated by professional identity threat. Based on quantitative data from two surveys completed by leaders and members from 70 UK healthcare teams, our analyses support our hypothesised moderated curvilinear model.

Keywordsfaultlines; healthcare teams; professional identity; threat
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020350611. Service marketing
Byline AffiliationsMacquarie University
University of Newcastle
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
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