Rags and Riches: The Effects of Social Class Diversity on Team Viability

Jason A. Williamson, Susan Mohammed, Alexander S. McKay, Linda C. Angell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Social class inequality is growing at a record pace. What happens when individuals from different social classes work on the same team? We examined the direct and moderating influences of social class as an underexplored form of diversity on team viability in 132 student project teams. Guided by an overarching framework from the team diversity literature, we explored perspective taking and conflict resolution norms as moderators that may safeguard against the negative effects of social class diversity on team viability. As predicted, teams with a mix of higher and lower social class members who were less able to see their teammates’ points of view or develop open conflict resolution norms reported less desire to work together in the future. Given these promising results and the ongoing importance of social class inequality in organizations, future research should continue to examine social class in a team context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)599-638
Number of pages40
JournalSmall Group Research
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology

Cite this