Bridging Faultlines in Diverse Teams

S U M M E R 2 0 0 7 V O L . 4 8 N O. 4

R E P R I N T N U M B E R 4 8 4 1 1

Lynda Gratton, Andreas Voigt and Tamara Erickson

Please note that gray areas reflect artwork that has been intentionally removed. The substantive content of the article appears as originally published.


O r g a n i z at i O n

ompanies create diverse teams to take on their most complex challenges —

tasks across boundaries, functions and geographies that no single department

or function could accomplish. Yet guiding these diverse teams to success re-

quires some counterintuitive management practices. In particular, team

leaders should focus on tasks at the early stages, rather than on interpersonal relationships,

and then switch to relationship building when the time is right.

In a recent study of teams at large companies, we found that diverse membership of

teams and task forces is becoming the order of the day. Take Nokia Corp., which frequently

brings together disparate talent from different departments among its businesses around

the globe, while at the same time partnering with many external suppliers. Or consider the

British Broadcasting Corporation, which routinely creates huge teams for events, such as

the production and broadcast teams for the 2006 FIFA World Cup and the 2008 Olympic

Games. These typically involve groups of more than 100 people, a high proportion of whom

are not full-time employees. Team members often represent more than 15 different nation-

alities, with skill sets ranging from electrical work to intellectual property, from scheduling

to production. The BBC’s teams also face the daunting challenge of a one-shot deal for

which execution has to be right the first time.

The challenges that Nokia and the BBC face are by no means unique. Between 2004 and

2006, we partnered with executives from 15 large European and American companies to study

55 of their teams. What was most striking about these teams was their sheer size and complex-

ity. The diversity of Nokia’s design team — with men and women of many nationalities and

with a wide range of ages, representing multiple functions from many different businesses

— was repeated in companies in many different industries from across the globe. Companies

in the media industry (such as Reuters Group PLC and the BBC), in telecommunications

(such as France Telecom and Canadian wireless giant Rogers Communications Inc.) and in

banking (such as Royal Bank of Scotland and Lehman Brothers Inc.) all employ large and

diverse teams to attack some of their most difficult problems. Many of the teams in the study

numbered more than 50 people, all had more than three nationalities represented and most

brought in people from several functions and businesses. (See “About the Research,” p. 24.)

Bridging Faultlines in Diverse Teams

Lynda Gratton is professor of management practice at London Business School. She is the author of Hot Spots: Why Some Teams, Workplaces and Organizations Buzz With Energy — and Others Don’t (San Fran-cisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2007). Andreas Voigt is a research assistant in organizational behavior at London Business School. Tamara Erickson is president of the Concours Institute, the research and education arm of the Concours Group, a professional services company headquartered in Kingwood, Texas, and a coau-thor of Workforce Crisis: How to Beat the Coming Shortage of Skills and Talent (Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 2006). Comment on this article or contact the authors through

CProject teams can fly

or founder on the

demographic attributes

of team members and

the fractures they can

create. Here’s how to

recognize the potential

for division, and how

to respond in time when

team fractures do arise.

Lynda Gratton,

Andreas Voigt and

Tamara Erickson



Companies form these teams precisely because they bring to

bear the range of experiences and attitudes that will ensure that

the final product or service will be market-sensitive and innova-

tive — more so than an offering designed by a group of people

with similar characteristics.1 Paradoxically, however, the very

nature of team diversity often creates challenges that reduce the

team’s innovative capacity and even significantly lessen its overall

effectiveness. So while business heads may wish for innovation

through diversity, what they sometimes achieve is reduced pro-

ductivity and efficiency.2

How Diverse Teams Fail, and How Some SucceedThe teams in our study failed in many different ways. Some

could not deliver on time; others fell short of the hoped-for

productivity; still others were unable to produce innovative re-

sults. Some teams broke up in acrimony and

bad feeling; some foundered in incompe-

tence. They were a litany of what could go

wrong. Many executives had been trained to

manage rather simple teams but were sur-

prised at just how hard it is to create a

high-performing team of diverse people.

Analyzing these problems uncovered two

root failures. The first was a failure of collabo-

ration, in which team members did not

develop trust and goodwill among them-

selves.3 The second was a failure of knowledge

sharing, in which team members withheld

their individual knowledge from other team

members or from other teams.4

Why is it so fiendishly difficult to enable

high-performing, diverse teams? To under-

stand the nature of the collaborative and

knowledge-sharing failures, we looked closely

at the demography of the teams. Using com-

plex statistical modeling, we created a unique

demographic profile for each team that took

into account team members’ ages, genders,

nationalities, education levels, functions and

tenures within the company. The model ex-

amined the configurations as a whole and the

interplay of different demographic attributes.

Close examination of these team dem-

ographic profiles revealed that in many cases

the failures in collaboration and knowledge

sharing were a direct result of faultlines —

subgroups or coalitions that emerge naturally

within teams, typically along various dem-

ographic lines. (See “An Overview of Faultline

Theory,” p. 25 for causes and characteristics

of faultlines.) These faultlines split the teams into subgroups

that were based on shared demographic characteristics. When

faultlines emerge, subgroups rarely collaborate with other sub-

groups, instead tending to share knowledge only within their

subgroup. Yet knowledge sharing across subgroups is critical for

complex teams to operate effectively.5

Despite the emergence of faultlines in many of the 55 teams,

some teams were able to work collaboratively and share knowl-

edge. Deeper analysis of these productive and innovative teams

showed that a defining factor was the behavior of the team leader

and the way in which she or he structured the leadership role.

Thus, although faultlines are a common hazard, some executives

are able to reduce the problems associated with diverse teams

and, indeed, to enhance the benefits.

In particular, the executives’ leadership style and the manner


in which they prioritized actions significantly reduced the extent

to which faultlines hindered collaboration and the flow of knowl-

edge. By studying the way these executives behaved, we are able

to make recommendations about leading diverse teams. How-

ever, while some of the recommendations are straightforward,

others are deeply counterintuitive and defy the received wisdom

about good management practice.

The Emergence of FaultlinesTo illustrate this seeming paradox, consider a team from a tele-

com company in our study. Think of the faultlines in this team

as analogous to geologic fractures in the Earth’s crust. Like geo-

logic fractures, faultlines can remain dormant and invisible for

some time. Geologic fractures explode as earthquakes when put

under immense pressure. The same is true of team faultlines,

which cross multiple layers of demography. In many cases, the

tensions of the faultlines emerge under the pressure of a com-

plex, time-dependent task.

The stated goal of the telecom team was to bring together

several parts of the business to build an innovative product and

service offering for one of the company’s major multinational

clients. Many of the client’s needs were standard, but meeting

their expectations would require the creation of a rather complex

service and delivery process. A business unit head was assigned

leadership of the new project and given charge of a core group of

22 people. She had to bring together the remainder of the team,

which was expected to total 48 people, from the four countries in

which the client had significant operations (Germany, the United

States, Japan and France), drawing from three functions (tech-

nology, marketing and operations). Although this may seem a

rather large and diverse team, many of the teams studied were of

a comparable size and complexity.

Initial Faultline Formation Is Based On Surface-Level Attributes The telecom team members began to get to know one another

through face-to-face encounters and e-mails. Within a short

time, however, the initial faultlines began to emerge. These fault-

lines were drawn around readily detectable demographic

attributes — for example, the team members’ age, gender and

functional background. Team members typically use obvious

characteristics to assign themselves and others to subgroups. In

this team, an early faultline emerged between a subgroup of male

technical engineers and a subgroup of female marketing special-

ists. Other subgroups rapidly emerged: for example, between

people of French nationality (many of whom had been in the

company for years and were typically in their 40s and 50s) and

Americans (many of whom had joined the company recently and

were in their 20s and 30s). Note that none of these subgroups was

based on a unitary dimension but rather on the combination of

multiple dimensions (gender and function in the first case; na-

tionality, age and job tenure in the second). A strong faultline

emerged because the team members fell into distinct, nonover-

lapping subgroups based on demographic attributes. (See “The

Emergence of Faultlines in a Telecom Team,” p. 26.)

As a rule, when subgroups emerge within complex teams, each

tends to see itself as an “in-group” — people like us, who we like

because we have something in common — and those across the

boundary of the faultline as an “out-group” — people not like us,

whose interests we may find puzzling. Each subgroup within the

telecom team collaborated closely among its members, who all

got to know, like and trust one another. In a sense, what each

subgroup was doing was learning more about what its members

already knew. This deepening of knowledge can be crucial as a

team builds professional insight and muscle. However, for a team

to become truly innovative, the combination of knowledge across

subgroups is essential.6

As members of the telecom team’s subgroups began to iden-

tify more strongly with one another, the team leader came to

understand that the emerging faultlines had negative conse-

quences. The dealings across the subgroups became a source of

tension and conflict, particularly under the pressure of task dead-

O r g a n i z at i O n


We studied 55 workgroups in 15 European and American

companies (ABN AMRO, BBC, BP, Citigroup, France Telecom,

Lehman Brothers, Marriott, Nokia, PricewaterhouseCoopers,

Reuters, Rogers Communications, Royal Bank of Scotland,

Siemens AG, Standard Chartered Bank and XL Global Serv-

ices). The study was based on a quantitative survey of

1,543 members of the workgroups and their leaders. The

teams ranged in size from four to 184 people, with an av-

erage team size of 43 members. Most of the teams were

diverse in terms of gender (32% women), age (ranging

from 4% under 25 to 15% over 46), nationality (26% Brit-

ish, 23% American, 23% European, 15% Asian and 13% rest

of world) and education level (7% high school diploma,

50% undergraduate degree, 37% master’s degree, and 6%

doctorate). We achieved a 64% response rate.

We measured demographic faultline strength along six

demographic variables: gender, age, nationality, educa-

tion, work function and tenure in the company. We

applied a statistical procedure that produced an overall

quantitative index of faultline strength by combining the

effects of all individual attributes. We used multiple re-

gression analyses to identify the faultlines and to control

for the size of the group, the degree of task complexity,

the geographical distance between team members and

industry-level differences.

About the Research


lines. For example, the predominately male engineers at one stage

refused to allow the predominately female marketing group ac-

cess to some of their product findings. The story was that this

information was too technically sophisticated for the marketing

function; the reality was that the engineering subgroup did not

want to let go of their valuable knowledge. The subgroups just

didn’t seem to understand one another — they did not know the

other’s interior language, and they did not understand the other’s

key concepts and models.

Deep-Level Attributes Come Into Play At Later Stages of Team Development As complex teams develop and group members get

to know more about one another, a deeper layer of faultlines

becomes visible — this time based not on surface-level attri-

butes but rather on subtler, deep-level attributes such as personal

values, dispositions and attitudes. At the time of a team’s forma-

tion, these deeper-level attributes are not visible. They emerge as

team members interact with one another and reveal themselves

through their actions, words and what they choose to disclose

about their personal lives.7

In the telecom company team, a later set of subgroups also

formed around values, disposition and

attributes. A faultline surfaced between

those members with cooperative values

and a subgroup of people with more

competitive values.

The Leader’s Role in FaultlinesIn the geological analogy to faultlines,

various external factors (such as pres-

sure) have an impact on how a fault

actually fractures. Similarly, many as-

pects of a team’s context can affect the

extent to which faultlines impact the

team’s performance. Two examples are

the extent of the cooperative culture in

which the team operates and the de-

gree to which team members believe

senior executives work across bound-

aries. The most important factor in

determining whether destructive fault-

lines emerged was the style of leader,

and in particular the extent to which

the group’s leader was task-oriented or

relationship-oriented.8 Some leaders in

the study were able to adjust their lead-

ership styles as the project progressed,

beginning with a task orientation and

then switching to a relationship orien-

tation, or beginning with a relationship

orientation and switching to a task orientation. (See “The Four

Paths of Leadership Style,” p. 27.)

Path 1: Task Orientation In this pathway, the team leader uses a

strong and consistent task-oriented leadership style, as perceived

by team members, during the entire life of the team or project.

The leader can do this by creating a detailed project plan, build-

ing tight schedules for the work and emphasizing performance

goals that are high but realistic. This type of leader places great

emphasis on the task at hand, so he or she strives to remain ac-

cessible at all times and provide information that team members

need to carry out their day-to-day work. Leaders who follow this

pathway are often technically proficient — and they see their role

as providing the team with the technical and specialist assistance

critical to the task.

Path 2: Relationship Orientation This type of leader places par-

ticular emphasis on the culture of the team and on the extent

and depth of relationships among team members. They do this

by treating team members with kindness and respect, encourag-

ing a climate of trust and cooperation and providing recognition


Faultline theory explains how a combination and the configuration of the attributes of

team members can influence the team’s behavior and ultimately its performance. The

attributes that drive faultlines can be surface-level or deep-level. Readily detectable at-

tributes such as gender, age, nationality and education are surface-level. Underlying,

or deep-level, attributes include values, personality and knowledge.

Strong faultlines emerge in a team when there are a few fairly homogeneous

subgroups that are able to identify themselves. Weak faultlines can emerge in two

rather different configurations. Faultlines generally do not emerge, or do so only

weakly, when all the members of the team are rather similar (for example, the same

age and job function). However, at the other end of the spectrum, faultlines also are

unlikely to emerge when there is heterogeneity — when the members of the team

are all very different from one another (for example, different ages and working in

different job functions).

Strong faultlines are particularly likely to emerge when all the demographic attrib-

utes of the members of the subgroups form distinct, nonoverlapping categories. For

example, a strong faultline will emerge if all women in a team are over 50 years old and

all the men are under 30. In this example, gender and age have formed a single, strong


Whether a faultline emerges depends on how apparent the attribute is to members

of the team. As the team members get to know each other better and learn what is

similar and what is different, the possible sources of potential faultlines increase.

Strong faultlines can create a fracture in the social fabric of the team. This fracture

can become a source of tension and a barrier to the creation of trust and goodwill and

to the exchange of knowledge and information. Inevitably, therefore, when strong

faultlines emerge, the team’s creative and innovative capacity is severely limited.

An Overview of Faultline Theory


and appreciation for individual and group accomplishments.

These leaders are often skilled communicators and listeners.

Path 3: Task Orientation, Switching to Relationship Orientation In this

pathway, the leader begins with a strong task-oriented style by

setting targets and scheduling work. As the project progresses,

these leaders encourage team members to collaborate with one

another and work to increase the general trust and goodwill

within the team.

Path 4: Relationship Orientation, Switching to Task Orientation This

type of leader begins by creating a feeling of trust within the

team, putting an emphasis on socialization and meetings. As the

project progresses, these leaders move to a more task-oriented

approach by setting clear goals and standards and carefully

monitoring the group’s progress.

Which, if any, of these leadership paths is most appropriate

when there are strong faultlines in a team? Where it is likely

strong faultlines will emerge, the natural tendency of many lead-

ers is to encourage team members to come together through

meetings and socializing. In effect, these leaders take Path 2.

However, this leadership action actually increases the likelihood

that faultlines will strengthen: when team members simply so-

cialize, their differences become more apparent, and the fractures

in the team can solidify.

In fact, a leader can significantly mitigate faultlines — but not

in the most obvious manner. To increase collaboration and

knowledge sharing across teams with strong faultlines, leaders

need to vary their leadership style according to how long the

team has been together. There are times when a task-oriented

style works very well and other times when a relationship orien-

tation would be more appropriate.

Recommendations For Leading Diverse Teams The leaders of complex teams should take four actions:

1. Diagnose the Probability of Faultlines Emerging At the outset of

a project, team leaders should think very carefully about the

diversity in their team and strive to predict as accurately as pos-

sible the probability of faultlines emerging. (See “The

Probability of Strong Faultlines Emerging in a Team,” p. 28 for

a short questionnaire that provides a way of gauging this likeli-

hood.) It is important to remember that faultlines are not a

natural result of diversity per se but are found in situations of

moderate diversity, when a team is neither very homogeneous

nor very heterogeneous in member attributes. A medium de-

gree of diversity leads to the emergence of only a

few fairly homogeneous subgroups. The divides

between these subgroups create the tensions that

can impede the team’s functioning.

If there is a high probability of subgroups and

faultlines emerging, then the leader should empha-

size a task-oriented leadership style in the early

stages of the project.

2. Focus on Task Orientation When a Team Is Newly Formed As previously mentioned, the inclination

for many leaders when they saw faultlines emerg-

ing in a new team was to focus on the relationships

between members of the subgroups. The leaders

created opportunities for people to get to know

one another better, hoping that socializing would

cause the faultlines to be bridged. Yet this exacer-

bates the problem. Simply put, in a team’s early

going, the more people interact with one another,

the more likely they are to make snap judgments

and to emphasize their differences.

A better strategy for leaders of teams with poten-

tial faultlines is to create energy around the task

itself. This was clearly visible in teams at the Royal

Bank of Scotland. In these teams — even those with

strong faultlines — collaboration and knowledge

sharing were strengthened through a host of task-

O r g a n i z at i O n


Faultlines quickly emerged around obvious demographic attributes with

the formation of a team in a telecommunications company. None of the

subgroups was based on a unitary dimension but rather on the combina-

tion of multiple dimensions (gender and function in the first case;

nationality, age and job tenure in the second).

The Emergence of Faultlines in a Telecom Team

Male Engineers

Female Marketers




oriented characteristics. At the beginning of team formation,

leaders created very detailed descriptions of realistic perfor-

mance goals. Next, the work was planned and scheduled with

precision: Every project was on a 30-day, 60-day or 90-day time-

table. At this early stage, much effort was focused on providing

the necessary resources and coordinating team members’ activi-

ties. Team members learned about one another’s skills and

competencies rather than about their personalities and lives.

This task orientation focused the attention of team members on

performance and requirements. Subgroups did emerge, but they

revolved around task-oriented characteristics such as functional

expertise and education, rather than personality differences. By

learning who they could go to for particular types of informa-

tion, the subgroups at Royal Bank of Scotland were able to move

swiftly into the task itself

However, while this approach increases the early effectiveness

of teams, it is not as useful for dealing with some of the tensions

that later emerge, such as around deeper personality traits and

differences in values. To do this, team leaders must learn how and

when to switch leadership styles.

3. Learn When to Make the Switch Focusing on the task is crucial

to the early effectiveness of a team in which strong faultlines are

expected to emerge. However, if the team is to be effective in the

longer term, then the leader has to switch styles from task ori-

entation to relationship orientation. If the leader fails to make

this switch, the team will slowly become less effective, as ob-

served in one of the media teams in our study. The team leader

began with a task orientation, coordinating the

team’s activities, creating clear schedules and

providing technical support. This support from

the top initially ensured that the subgroups

learned more about each other and began the

process of sharing knowledge. At the same

time, the leader’s capacity to clearly state the

team’s mission and create a common goal en-

sured that the subgroups became strongly

aligned to a common purpose despite the fault-

lines already running through the team. The

members of the team began to feel that they

were united in a goal that was greater than the

differences among the subgroups.

Over time, however, deep-level faultlines in

this complex and diverse team began to emerge

and become increasingly important. The major

faultlines initially had formed around func-

tional specialization and nationality. The

media team’s creative designers came mostly

from the West Coast of the United States, while

the production teams were located on the East

Coast and in Germany. These differences were bridged by the

clear sense of a shared task and goals created by the team

leader. Later, though, subgroups began to form around the at-

tributes and personalities of group members. A subgroup of

high-energy, highly competitive people (known as Type A per-

sonalities) began to form. These are people who like to work

under pressure and create pressure for others, who enjoy the

rush of adrenaline and love competing.9 Members of this sub-

group were drawn from the West and East coasts of the United

States and from Germany; some were men, some were women;

some old, some young. Their deep-level Type A characteristic

cut across the surface-level characteristics.

As the original faultlines began to be bridged through a

shared task, this new personality-based, deep-level faultline be-

came an increasing source of conflict and tension. Those outside

the Type A category created names for them (“the crazies,” “the

no-lifers”), while the Type A subgroup became frustrated by

what they saw as slowness and a lack of focus from the others.

The task-oriented leader — who also had a Type A personality

— failed at this point to switch styles, instead continuing to plan,

organize, schedule and create tasks. Since the Type A subgroup

was the most vocal (and the team leader was a member of the

subgroup), the schedules simply became faster- and faster-paced

and the task demands more and more frequent. Conflicts arose

often, and those outside the Type A subgroup became more iso-

lated, demotivated and unhappy.

This discord came to a head during a performance meeting.

The business unit head overseeing the project criticized the team


The most important factor in determining whether destructive faultlines

emerged in a team was the style of its leader and, in particular, the extent

to which the leader acted along a continuum of task orientation and rela-

tionship orientation.

The Four Paths of Leadership Style




Path 1

Path 4

Path 3Path 2


leader for the lack of innovative ideas coming from the team.

The team was fast-paced, but the results were often boring and

predictable. Looking back, this outcome should have been no

surprise: Some of the most creative members of the team were

not among the Type A subgroup, whose members were calling

all the shots. Yet those outside the dominant subgroup lacked the

power to slow down the program, argue for time for reflection

or get their creative ideas heard and discussed.10

The team leader had failed to read the signs that called

for switching from task-oriented leadership to relationship-

oriented leadership. The Type A subgroup was able to dominate

by overly influencing the agenda and taking most of the


4. Switch to Relationship Building When the Time Is Right In the

media company example, the team leader had built an effective

team but not an innovative team. The leader had failed to make

the switch that characterizes Path 3 of leadership.

A team leader did follow the third path in one of the fi-

nance companies studied. At one point, tensions were coming

to the fore around different values and personalities among

team members. The team leader — who previously had been

predominately task-oriented — was able to switch to a more

relationship-oriented style. Over the course of a few weeks, the

leader brought the team together for several social activities,

surfaced and talked openly about the tensions the members of

the team felt and showed respect to the various work styles and

values in the group.

Developing Better Teams and Team LeadersSo how does a team leader know when to switch from task ori-

entation to relationship orientation? The switch will be

successful only at the point at which the team has sufficient

shared experience to have developed a clear protocol for com-

munication and coordination of activities and an established

operational structure.11

As a guideline, when all members of a team have developed

specific expectations for the project and have negotiated a

O r g a n i z at i O n


For team leaders: This short survey will show you the probability

of a strong faultline emerging in your team. Rate your team

members against these four elements:

1. The number of nationalities in the team

a. Team members are all of the same nationality.

b. There are two nationalities.

c. There are three to five nationalities.

d. There are six to 10 nationalities.

e. There are more than 11 nationalities.

2. The current age, education and gender of the team members

a. The majority are the same gender and about the same age

and have the same education level.

b. The majority are the same gender and have the same educa-

tion level but are of different ages.

c. The majority are of the same age and have the same educa-

tion level and are both men and women.

d. The majority are the same age and gender and have differ-

ent education levels.

e. The team contains both men and women of different ages

and education levels.

3. The current business location of team members

a. They are all from the same function and the same business.

b. They are all from different functions in the same businesses.

c. They are all from different functions and different busi-

nesses within the company.

d. They are from different businesses and functions in the

company and from longstanding partners from outside the


e. They are from different parts of the company and include

longstanding partners of the company and new partners

and customers of the company.

4. The values and aspirations of the team

a. All members of the team have very similar values, disposi-

tions and attitudes.

b. Many members of the team share values, dispositions and


c. There is a clear divide between groups with regard to values,

dispositions and attitudes.

d. Many people have different values, dispositions and attitudes.

e. There is a great deal of variety in values, dispositions and


Low probability of faultlines emerging:

Scoring mostly a’s and b’s — The team is relatively simple and

homogeneous, so it is unlikely that faultlines will emerge.

Scoring mostly e’s — The team is heterogeneous. Therefore, it is

unlikely that faultlines will emerge.

High probability of faultlines emerging:

Scoring mostly c’s and d’s — This team has a high potential for fault-

lines to emerge because a medium degree of diversity tends to lead

to the development of only a few fairly homogeneous subgroups.

The Probability of Strong Faultlines Emerging in a Team


widely accepted influence structure, then the time is right to

switch to a relationship-oriented leadership style. Instilling

confidence in the team and creating opportunities to socialize

at that point helps the development of new abilities and allows

the team to grow. However, if the team is still trying to learn

the specifics of the project, clarify people’s roles and negotiate

members’ status and authority, then the switch would come

too early and would only amplify the underlying tensions be-

tween subgroups.

This provides important guidelines for managers who head

diverse teams, which are tasked with some of the most impor-

tant and difficult challenges that companies face. But it also

points to an important new development challenge for execu-

tives. Not only do future leaders need to develop solid program

management skills and confident interpersonal skills but they

also need to learn which leadership style to emphasize, based on

their team’s needs and characteristics. Providing team leaders

with a framework for assessing faultlines will give them the in-

sights needed to overcome the divisions and move teams toward

achieving their, and the company’s, ultimate goals.


1. The power of integration on innovation has been described in L. Gratton, “Managing Integration Through Cooperation,” Human Re-source Management 44, no. 2 (2005): 151-158; and S. Ghoshal and L. Gratton, “Integrating the Enterprise,” MIT Sloan Management Review 44, no. 1 (fall 2002): 31-38.

2. Richard Hackman’s work on group dynamics provides early in-sights into the formation and maturation of teams; see, for example, J.R. Hackman, ed., “Groups That Work (and Those That Don’t): Cre-ating Conditions for Effective Teamwork” (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1989). The difficulties of managing complex teams are described in L. Gratton, “Hot Spots: Why Some Teams, Workplaces and Organizations Buzz With Energy — And Others Don’t” (San Francisco: Berrett Koehler Publishers, 2007).

3. The way in which teams collaborate with each other is increasingly seen as central to their effectiveness. An overview of this argument is provided in S. Alper, D. Tjosvold and K.S. Law, “Interdependence and Controversy in Group Decision Making: Antecedents to Effective Self-Managing Teams,” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 74, no. 1 (1998): 33-52.

4. Knowledge sharing has been argued to be central to the innovative capacity of a company. See, for example, I. Nonaka and H. Takeuchi, “The Knowledge-Creating Company: How Japanese Companies Create the Dynamics of Innovation” (New York: Oxford University Press, 1995).

5. The challenge of team faultlines is currently being studied by several scholars. For an academic description of faultline theory, see D.C. Lau and J.K. Murnighan, “Demographic Diversity and Faultlines: The Com-positional Dynamics of Organizational Groups,” Academy of Management Review 23, no. 2 (1998): 325-340.

6. The study of in-groups and out-groups has been a central theme of group analysis. For an overview of some of the key concepts, see, for example, H. Tajfel and J.C. Turner, “The Social Identity Theory of Inter-Group Behavior,” in “Psychology of Intergroup Relations,” ed. S. Worchel and L.W. Austin (Chicago: Nelson-Hall, 1986), 7-24.

7. The distinction between surface-level and deep-level attributes has been explored in more detail in S.E. Jackson, K.E. May and K. Whitney, “Understanding the Dynamics of Diversity in Decision-Mak-ing Teams,” in “Team Effectiveness and Decision Making in Organizations,” ed. R.A. Guzzo and E. Salas (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 1995), 204-261. For a more academic treatment of the theory, see D.A. Harrison, K.H. Price and M.P. Bell, “Beyond Rela-tional Demography: Time and the Effects of Surface- and Deep-Level Diversity On Work Group Cohesion,” Academy of Management Jour-nal 41, no. 1 (1998): 96-107.

8. Task orientation and relationship orientation are a continuum of leadership styles and have been examined in leadership re-search for more than a decade. For an overview of both, see G.A. Yukl, “Leadership in Organizations,” 6th ed. (Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 2005). The distinction was first made in the 1950s in the seminal research by E.A. Fleishman, “The Descrip-tion of Supervisory Behavior,” Journal of Applied Psychology, 37, no. 1 (1953): 1-6.

9. For a more detailed overview of Type A characters, see, for exam-ple, M.A. Chesney and R.H. Rosenman, “Type A Behavior in the Work Setting,” in “Current Concerns in Occupational Stress,” ed. C.L. Cooper and R. Payne (London: John Wiley, 1980), 187-212; and M. Friedman and R.H. Rosenman, “Type A Behavior and Your Heart” (New York: Knopf, 1974), which provides a detailed description of the psychological construct.

10. The potentially negative impact of speed on creativity has been explored by several scholars. See, for example, C. Mainemelis, “When the Muse Takes It All: A Model For the Experience of Time-lessness in Organizations,” Academy of Management Review 26, no. 4 (2001): 548-565. For an overview on time, see D.G. Ancona, P.S. Goodman, B.S. Lawrence and M.L. Tushman, “Time: A New Re-search Lens,” Academy of Management Review 26, no. 4 (2001): 645-663.

11. For an overview of studies on the impact of time on group develop-ment and processes, see S. Blount, ed., “Time in Groups,” vol. 6, “Research on Managing Groups and Teams” (Greenwich, Connecticut: JAI Press, 2004).

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A leader can significantly mitigate faultlines. To increase collaboration and knowledge sharing across teams with strong faultlines, leaders need to vary their leadership style according to how long the team has been together.

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