We've come to accept that promoting diversity in the workplace is not only the right thing to do but also good for business—it helps our teams know our customers better and profit from a variety of perspectives and viewpoints. But how do these benefits work in practice? Are diverse teams really better teams?A fascinating new article, reviewing 50 years of research on the topic, finds there are two kinds of diversity at work. Authors Margaret Neale (a professor at Stanford) and Elizabeth Mannix (a professor at Cornell) say that functional diversity—variations in expertise, education or personality—can increase team performance, creativity and problem-solving ability.
But demographic diversity—the visible differences in race, gender, age and so on—has a more mixed impact. Initially, it can have negative effects on a work group. But Neale says that the conflicts and divisions created by these differences can in time be u...(register to read more)