The Benefits of Cognitive Style Versatility for Collaborative Work
journal contributionposted on 2022-12-09, 18:18 authored by Ishani Aggarwal, Marieke C Schilpzand, Luis L Martins, Anita WoolleyAnita Woolley, Marco Molinaro
A growing body of the literature shows the influence of cognitive styles, which capture the ways individuals share, encode, and process information, and their implications for collaboration. We build on this literature to investigate the special contributions of individuals with cognitive style versatility, or facility in more than one cognitive style, for improving teams' collaborative performance. In two studies, including a total of 452 participants in 132 teams, we observe that the presence of cognitively versatile individuals has direct (Study 1) and indirect (Study 2) effects on team performance. In an exploratory analysis, we observe that the presence of cognitively versatile individuals facilitates the task and social processes necessary for effective team information processing, specifically reducing team process conflict and task conflict and enhancing team social integration, with social integration mediating the relationship between cognitive style versatility and team performance. Importantly, these effects remain even when accounting for team cognitive ability and other measures of team surface- and deep-level diversity. Our findings contribute to the emerging literature on team composition and its implications for collaboration and teamwork. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2022 APA, all rights reserved).