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Given the mixed results and heated debate over team diversity and its impact on team effectiveness, there are challenges and opportunities for researchers to continue making progress in this area. First, team researchers need to look beyond demographic and functional diversity and explore other typologies (e.g., diversity in attitudes and values, shared cognition). Second, diversity impacts team effectiveness via team processes (information-sharing and decision making). Although a few studies have used longitudinal data to capture the differential impact of team diversity at various stages of a task or team cycle (e.g., Bell et al., 2011; Cheng et al., 2012; Korsgaard et al., 2008), a better understanding of these mediating mechanisms requires research designs and methodologies (e.g., experimental study, experience sampling technique, social network analysis) that capture the interactions among group members and the contextual influence in this process. Third, viewing diversity dimensions as interactive in nature, demographic faultlines and fault-line strength present a promising avenue for future research. Fourth, there is room to continue exploring factors that moderate the diversity-team effective relationship, as well as the mediating mechanisms underlying such a relationship.

Team assessment

While research on assessment of team members’ individual dispositional attributes has generated a large body of validity evidence, future research should focus more on testing the predictive validity of member team-based attributes (e.g., task work skills and teamwork skills; Zaccaro & DiRosa, 2012). In addition, team assessment can advance beyond paper-and-pencil tests and incorporate more advanced strategies, such as team-based assessment centres (Klimoski & Zukin, 1999) and intelligent video-based systems (e.g., Cannon-Bowers, Bowers & Sanchez, 2008).

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