People referring in gender, age, race, disability, status and sexual orientation bring to organizations a variety of attitudes, values, and perspectives as well as a broad and rich base of experience to address a problem. As a result as the group became more diverse, the potential for creativity is enhanced. Innovative organizations have generally done a better job than others in eradicating racism and sexism, and they tend to employ more women and nonwhite men than do less innovative firms.
In addition, brainstorming groups made up of diverse ethnic and racial groups produce higherquality ideas than do homogeneous groups. Further, the presence in groups of individuals holding minority views lead to critical analysis of decision issues and alternatives, resulting in consideration of a larger number of alternatives and more thorough examination of underlying assumptions. And because homogeneous groups tend to value conformity and agreement and their members are sometimes afraid to “rock the boat,” such groups often discourage critical thinking.
Because of this, diversity may foster more open, honest, and effective decision-making. Taken together, this all suggests that diversity can yield many benefits for decision-making creativity. However, diversity may also increase the potential for misunderstandings and increase conflict and anxiety among members. The challenge is to manage cultural diversity in such a way as to capture its benefits while minimizing potential problems.
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