The effects of team diversity on a team process and team performance in the National Hockey League
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The purpose of this research was to build upon, and extend, the sport diversity research. Specifically, Study 1 adopted a compositional approach to examine the effects of ethnicity, age, and team tenure on a team process (team assists), and their indirect effects on overall team performance (team points) through that team process. Hierarchical regression analyses, after controlling for team ability, indicated that the block of diversity variables accounted for 6.5% (p < .05) of the variance in team assists. Further results indicated that ethnic diversity was significantly, and negatively, related to team assists, while age and team tenure diversity were not related to team assists. In turn, team assists accounted for 22% (p < .001) of the variance in team points, above and beyond team ability. Team assists were significantly, and positively, related to overall team performance. Results suggest that team diversity does impact team processes and, indirectly, team performance. Study 2 adopted a relational approach to examine how being similar, or dissimilar, influences the dyadic relationship between the goal scorer and assistor. The MANOVA analyses were significant for ethnicity, Wilks’ Λ = .976 (p < .001), age group, Wilks’ Λ = .952 (p < .001), and team tenure group, Wilks’ Λ = .896 (p < .001), indicating that there were differences between those goal scorers receiving assists from the various subgroups within each of these three categories. In general, results support the similarity-attraction paradigm, in that, a player is likely to assist a teammate who is similar to himself more so than he is to assist a player who is different, with regards to these three demographic characteristics. Results have practical implications for coaches and managers, while also contributing to the theoretical body of literature for sport and diversity research. This research examined National Hockey League teams and players during a three year period (2001-2004). English Canadians made up 42.5% of the players in the league, followed by Europeans (33%), Americans (15.7%), and French Canadians (8.8%). The average age of players in the league was 27.7 years of age, while the average team tenure was 3.7 years.
Waltemyer, David Scott (2006). The effects of team diversity on a team process and team performance in the National Hockey League. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from