The Impact of Diversity on Group Outcomes
There are many types of diversity that can exist in a group ethnicity, color, gender, age and culture. Diversity is also based on other differences that are reflective of a person’s education and experience. Such differences might include socioeconomic, social class, and even past work experiences. These differences impact group outcomes in beneficial or non- beneficial ways.
The differences between people can be a barrier to the accomplishment of common tasks. Often these differences are looked at as negative but are in reality cultural and ethnic patterns of behavior. For instance, some cultures are less apt to be excitable (or at least to show emotion) and this can be taken as a sign of ‘lacking interest’. Obviously this is not true it is an assumption made by other members of the group but the result might be the overlooking of valuable member input.
This is often referred to as cultural diversity. This cultural diversity has become increasingly more relevant in the workplace as globalization continues. The understanding of cultural diversity can be the difference between an efficient and inefficient organization.
M.F. Özbilgin and A. Tatli, Global Diversity Management: An Evidence Based Approach, Palgrave Macmillian, 2008
C. Cockburn, 1989, Equal Opportunities: the short and long agenda, Industrial Relations Journal, 20 (3): 213–225