Putting team faultlines and conflicts into context: faultline activation and deactivation

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


In this conceptual paper, we develop a team faultline model that builds upon the notion that the effects of team faultlines on team conflicts are context specific. Team faultlines are hypothetical dividing lines that may split a group into subgroups based on one or more team member attributes. The attention for team faultlines has recently burgeoned, however theoretical progress in structurally integrating findings has not kept similar pace. To address this issue, we redefine the concept of faultline activation, the process by which members of a team come to perceive subgroups, and develop the related concept of faultline deactivation, the process of minimizing the salience of perceived subgroups in teams. We build a model to explain how these two processes are triggered by faultline activators and deactivators, for which we develop a typology. We further develop testable propositions on their effects while taking into account distinct faultline and team conflict types. In doing so, we offer an integrated model of team faultlines that can be used to assess the effects of team faultlines in different contexts. We discuss the implications of the model for future theoretical developments and managers’ daily practice.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2013
EventAnnual Meeting of the Academy of Management 2013 - Orlando, United States of America
Duration: 9 Aug 201313 Aug 2013
Conference number: 73rd


ConferenceAnnual Meeting of the Academy of Management 2013
Abbreviated titleAoM 2013
CountryUnited States of America
OtherThe Academy of Management's vision statement says that we aim "to inspire and enable a better world through our scholarship and teaching about management and organizations." The recent economic and financial crises, austerity, and unemployment, and the emergence of many economic, social, and environmental protest movements around the world have put back on the agenda some big questions about this vision: What kind of economic system would this better world be built on? Would it be a capitalist one? If so, what kind of capitalism? If not, what are the alternatives? Although most of our work does not usually ask such "big" questions, the assumptions we make about the corresponding answers deeply influence our research, teaching, and service.
Internet address

Cite this