Cognitive Style Diversity in Decision Making Teams: A Conceptual Framework


  • Abby Mello Towson University
  • Joan Rentsch University of Tennessee



Teams, Cognitive Diversity, Cognitive Style, Perspective Taking, Team Processes


Team diversity scholars have called for examining cognitive variables (van Knippenberg & Schippers, 2007), such as cognitive style, in team dissimilarity research. However, due to the dearth of research on cognitive style diversity in teams, heeding these calls requires new theory. Therefore, we extended recent theoretical developments that suggested indirect relationships between diversity and performance by orienting cognitive style within the team diversity literature and by proposing cognitive style diversity’s effects on team processes in decision making teams. We also integrated the moderating role of team member perspective taking into the framework. We presented arguments and propositions for the combined effects of cognitive style diversity and perspective taking on task conflict, affective conflict, and the development of schema congruence. We offer suggestions for testing the proposed relationships in future research regarding variable measurement and multi-level data. Implications for and contributions to practice are also addressed.

Author Biographies

Abby Mello, Towson University

Psychology DepartmentAssistant Professor

Joan Rentsch, University of Tennessee

Communications DepartmentProfessor


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