Team Diversity Team Outcome

Sujin K Horwitz and Irwin B Horwitz conducted a research on “THE EFFECTS OF TEAM DIVERSITY ON TEAM OUTCOMES: A META-ANALYTIC REVIEW OF TEAM DEMOGRAPHY”. The author duo has tried to examine the complex relationship between team diversity and team outcomes by quantitatively reviewing the extant work and provided estimates of the relationship between team diversity and team outcomes. In particular, the effects of task-related and bio-demographic diversity at the group-level were meta-analyzed to test the hypothesis of synergistic performance resulting from diverse employee teams. Support was found for the positive impact of task-related diversity on team performance although bio-demographic diversity was not significantly related to team performance. Similarly, no discernible effect of team diversity was found on social integration. The investigation employed a meta-analytic technique to examine and integrate peer reviewed articles on the topic of team diversity published between 1985 and 2006. This time frame was selected because the area of team diversity grew into a central focus of the more general ongoing team research during this period.

Articles for this review were identified through both computerized and manual searches of relevant databases and individual journals. The searches employed team (group) work, team (group) composition, team (group) diversity, team (group) heterogeneity, member characteristics, and team (group) performance, as the major keywords to narrow the vast amount of research done on teamwork. In sum, a total of 78 correlations from 35 peer-reviewed articles were included in this study. A coding form, as an information-gathering instrument, was developed for identifying pertinent information from studies. To assess the accuracy and reliability of coding, a second rater, who has a doctorate degree and considerable expertise in management coded a random sample of 20 studies included in the analysis.

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Discrepancies of the ratings were discussed and the raters eventually reached consensus on such issues. Given the prevalent use of heterogeneous teams in modern workplaces, this quantitative review provides organisational practitioners with a much-needed empirical corroboration of the benefits of diversity in teams and further demonstrates what forms of team diversity are more important than others with respect to organizational strategic outcomes such as problem solving and innovation. The findings of the study, therefore, suggest diversity in teams can potentially provide organizations with competitive advantages if they consider these results in determining the composition of teams while discarding a simple, myopic understanding that team diversity has a uniform effect on team outcomes. Shifting the emphasis from individual attributes to compositional and relational structures at a group level would ultimately enhance organizational efficacy.

Matthew Legas and Cynthia Sims in their research “LEVERAGING GENERATIONAL DIVERSITY IN TODAY’S WORKPLACE”, have tried to address the complication faced by today’s organization due to increase in the age and generational diversity in the workplace and co-existence and functioning of the employees. According to the authors, there is a lack of understanding when addressing generational diversity in today‘s US workplace, which could be disastrous for companies wanting to increase economic wealth through human capital. The authors say that baby boomers are the largest group in the workforce and due to technological and medical advances and economic necessity; they are choosing to continue to work past the traditional retirement age. This generation is the largest in the workforce and holds the largest number of senior executive positions, which makes opportunities for advancement for the younger generations difficult. With this type of stifled upward-mobility caused by the Boomers, younger generations entering, or already present in today‘s workforce (Generation X and Millenials) are essentially competing against each other for very limited positions. Subsequently, this assuredly creates tension among the generations. The literature highlights miscommunication as a contributor to poor interpersonal relationships among employees of different generations.

Each generation comes with unique values and views which are associated with the era in which they were raised and these differences can often clash in the workplace and decrease morale. What some managers and employees might view as inappropriate communication styles in the workplace may actually be misinterpretation of the generations’ styles and use of communication. Without training of the generations, abilities to co-exist and understand one another may not occur. Much of the literature focuses on the need for diversity training to solve problems due to generational diversity in the workforce.

Many organizations identify generational diversity as an issue but do not yet have a proven solution. It would appear that a two-pronged effort would help aid in educating and retaining corporate knowledge of the generations leaving, staying, and entering: generational diversity training and mentorship. Generational diversity training would go beyond the common training that focuses on race, gender, and sexual orientation. It would include generational differences, similarities, misconceptions, and common misunderstandings in the workplace salient. Also, a successful mentorship program would help the various generations to work together for success and allow US businesses to capitalize on retention of knowledge transfer amongst its future human capital.

“THE COSTS AND BENEFITS OF DIVERSITY: A STUDY ON METHODS AND INDICATORS TO MEASURE THE COST-EFFECTIVENESS TO MEASURE THE COST-EFFECTIVENESS OF DIVERSITY POLICIES IN ENTERPRISES” conducted by the Directorate-General for Employment, Industrial Relations and Social Affairs under the European Commission examines the measurement of the costs and benefits of workforce diversity policies, ie, voluntary initiatives by businesses to recruit, retain, and develop employees from diverse social groups.

The work has been undertaken against a background of the implementation of new antidiscrimination directives throughout the EU and increased investment in workforce diversity policies by businesses. Multiple sources of evidence have been used to complete the study, including a survey of 200 companies in four EU countries; extensive literature reviews; development of 8 case studies of diversity promotion programmes in 6 Member States; and 48 interviews with companies, business organisations, national governments, equality agencies, trade unions, and non-governmental organizations.

The study found that the business case for investment in workforce diversity is embryonic and fragmented. Action can be taken by governments and other actors to overcome some of these weaknesses in the business case, especially through the provision of more information about the experience of companies that have invested in diversity policies. Despite these existing weaknesses, a potentially powerful case for investment in workforce diversity policies is beginning to emerge. Although there are already a large number of indicators of cost and benefit in use by companies, these tend to be qualitative in nature and most focus on costs and ‘intermediate outcomes’ (such as changes in workforce attitudes or demographics).

Other, similar types of intangible asset, such as human capital investments, have begun to overcome these problems through the development of a combination of different types of evidence. Notwithstanding these problems with measurement, it is possible to construct a ‘model’ of performance measurement that provides a systematic method of identifying costs, benefits, and key processes. Investment in sustainable diversity policies in Europe is probably limited to a small number of pioneering companies today.

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