USMA Research Unit Affiliation

Behavioral Sciences and Leadership

Date of Award


Degree Type

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation


Graduate School of Education of Harvard University


Teams are a critical aspect of organizational life, and understanding the ways that stereotyping impacts team performance is the first step in optimizing team effectiveness. This research examined the impact on team performance of stereotyping in military teams participating in an international military skills competition. By leveraging the theoretical strength of status characteristics theory, coupled with the analytic power of the shifting standards model, and multi-level structural equation modeling (ML-SEM), this study was able to provide insights into the ways that multiple sources of stereotyping, altogether (i.e. global stereotyping), impacts team performance. In addition, I examined specific sources of stereotyping and their independent impact on team performance within and across teams in a variety of individual events, as well as overall competition performance. I found that global stereotyping did not have an influence on a team’s overall performance. However, global stereotyping did have an impact on three individual events. Also, the impact of specific sources of stereotyping did have varying effects on different kinds of team tasks. In one case, race-based stereotyping was associated with enhanced team performance, and in two instances it was associated with decreased team performance. Similarly, in one case, gender-based stereotyping was associated with decreased team performance, but was never associated with enhanced team performance. These findings suggest that stereotyping in a team context is complicated, but does not necessarily lead to a compromise in the team’s overall performance.