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Better, best or worst team? Linking intra-team diversity to extreme team performance

Author: Cavarretta, Fabrice INSEAD Area: Organisational Behaviour Series: Working Paper ; 2007/56/OB Publisher: Fontainebleau : INSEAD, 2007.Language: EnglishDescription: 49 p.Type of document: INSEAD Working Paper Online Access: Click here Abstract: Intra-team diversity has contradictory effects, both improving information and hindering social integration, resulting in a neutral average effect on team performance. Combining these effects differently allows the prediction of a U-shaped relationship of diversity to performance variability, improving on past prediction of a simple increase. The reanalysis of a field study of 35 teams in a business simulation confirms such an effect for three demographic and two cognitive diversity variables. An analysis combining both mean and variability effects leads to improved predictions, and the conclusions regarding the effect of age diversity drawn from a conventional mean analysis even reverse if aiming for an extreme performance goal.
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Intra-team diversity has contradictory effects, both improving information and hindering social integration, resulting in a neutral average effect on team performance. Combining these effects differently allows the prediction of a U-shaped relationship of diversity to performance variability, improving on past prediction of a simple increase. The reanalysis of a field study of 35 teams in a business simulation confirms such an effect for three demographic and two cognitive diversity variables. An analysis combining both mean and variability effects leads to improved predictions, and the conclusions regarding the effect of age diversity drawn from a conventional mean analysis even reverse if aiming for an extreme performance goal.

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