Interactions within groups and subgroups: The effects of demographic faultlines

Dora C. Lau*, J. Keith Murnighan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

570 Scopus citations


We investigated the effects of intragroup and cross-subgroup communications in an experimental field study on demographic faultlines. The results indicated that faultlines explained more variance in perceptions of team learning, psychological safety, satisfaction, and expected performance than single-attribute heterogeneity indexes. In addition, cross-subgroup work communications were effective for groups with weak faultlines but not for groups with strong faultlines. Overall, this study extends the original faultline model, documents the utility of the concept of faultlines, and identifies some of their effects on work group outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)645-659
Number of pages15
JournalAcademy of Management Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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