Groups, Inequality, and Synergy Academic Article uri icon


  • © 2018 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. All rights reserved. We combine insights from the sociological and psychological traditions of social psychology to examine how status inequality may affect group performance. Specifically, we examine how synergy, that is, performance gains produced through group interaction, is realized in ethnically diverse groups. Research suggests that diverse work groups struggle to capitalize on the strengths of all group members, and in turn, achieve synergy less frequently than homogeneous groups. We examine how an intervention in the status generalizing process affects group members' influence - and how this affects synergistic gains (n = 50). We study these processes over a three-week period of time. In groups that received an intervention in the status generalizing process (experimental condition), racial hierarchy is decreased in weeks 1 and 3 - but inequality remained in baseline groups. Additionally, in week 3, experimental groups achieved synergy more than baseline groups and did not perform worse than baseline groups on any task.

altmetric score

  • 30.614

author list (cited authors)

  • Manago, B., Sell, J., & Goar, C.

citation count

  • 2

publication date

  • July 2018