Does Team Diversity Improve Performance?


Diversity refers to different ways of life. This is the difference in race culture education and thinking styles. It may also take a different dimension such as physical appearance, experience and the position one takes in the team. A good definition of diversity is the uniqueness each team member brings to the resolution of the project at hand. Diversity among employees brings about different creative skills hence innovation these different ideas that contribute greatly to the performance of the company.

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Team diversity is the ways of different people in organisation from indifferent places. Organisations are dependent on various diverse activities for them to succeed for example in decision making, improving efficiency and innovation of new products (Albanese & Van Fleet, 1985, pp. 244-255). In development of a new product an organisation requires the effort of different groups such as research and development, marketing production and other department which each plays a different role in making a success the new product launch.

Working in diverse teams my be a bit challenging where there may arise conflict among he team members due to disagreement, there may be poor communication, poor coordination and performance due to poor planning. In order to work in team there arises needs to organize the group, there has to be a leader, rules to be followed and a plan defining the objective of the team and the goals to be achieved (Heathfield, 2007, p. 77). Without theses then the team may result to disagreement and hence lack of coordination.

For a successive teamwork needs leadership diversity, cooperation and team strategies. Although working in team there are more benefits in team working if well planned and organized. These benefits the team in terms of supportive work that makes the work be easily done. The teamwork diversity may contribute to the organisation performance either positively or negatively (Heathfield, 2007, p. 98).This paper focuses influences of diversity in teams and the influence it has on the performance.

The world globalization requires the organization to encourage diversity at work place and in various teams in the organisation. With the increasing competition nearly from every continent and the changes in the economy arise the need to diversify the working environment to increase creativity. In the resent times many organisations are incorporating teamwork in their organisation. Different people from different diversity incorporate different talents hence increase the creativity rate in the organisation.

The success of a particular organisation is not only based on the resources of the organisation and the talents but also on the interaction between employees themselves and the management (Albanese & Van Fleet 1985, pp. 244-255). The success of each team in an organization to succeed is played by different roles of the individuals in the team. Some of the differences are visible in gender, age, altitude, values and the experience. Team diversity will be appropriate in solving the various problems in the organisation. Dimension of demographic, gender, occupational background and education performance has been seen improve teams performance.

Diversity improves performance in the following ways:

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Positive effects of team diversity and work team performance

Team diversity improves performance in various ways. In decision making especially in environmental scanning, people involved in decision making generate diverse views to a certain problem. The presence of diverse generates different ideas hence they are able to access various situation differently (Katzenbach & Smith, 1993, p. 233). This enable the contribution of different coarse of action and actions to be considered, this enhances forecast where the team will be in a position to predict the benefits of a particular decision that will be taken. In sales teams diversity increases the understanding of their clients and the broad variety they require.

Diversity in gender and ethnic increases the ability to understand broad variety of their clients hence making more sales. The team will be in a position to understand better in various ways, they will be in a position to understand the internal and external influences and their influences they have on sales hence quality analysis in decision making (Naff & Thompson, 2000, p. 79). Due to different views and ideas the team will be in a position to view competition in different view hence generate ideas that will enhance them compete well in the market. Diversity in team work also encourages teamwork where each and every individual has got link from external. Due to this broader contact they can easily access the valuable expertise and generate different ideas (American Management Association, 1998, pp. 37-44).

The organisation employing people from different diverse groups with different backgrounds bring individuals with different backgrounds, skills and ideas that enable an organization to do well in the changing market especially in demand. The diversity of the work force, they can speak different languages and cultural understanding perspective allows the organization to offer their services in the global perspective so as to be inline with the changing world (Katzenbach & Smith, 1993, p. 101). Quality customer services are offered hence ensuring that each and every consumer need is addressed.

There is improved efficiency in communication with the diversity in the tea work. Diverse team can generate different views and ideas. This enables the company to make reasonable, critical and creative decision that will suit the satisfying the customers need and at the same time meet the company’s objective. Organisations that encourage diversity enable or steers the company to perform at its level best. This is because employers’ performance is at their level best. The company strategies executed are from different perspective. These will results to high productivity and return on investment (Jackson, Joshi & Erhardt, 2003, p. 801).

On employing performance teamwork diversity, creates an interesting environment for the employees where they are comfortable working. This reduces labour turnover and absenteeism since the working condition is friendly. This is because the employees’ commitment and direction is well set by the team since they decide which way to follow for the achievement of the goals (American Management Association, 1998, pp. 37-44).

With diversity at teamwork enables or makes it easy for the organisation to deal with the technological and globalization changes that are taking place. This is because the groups comprise of different ideas and experience hence being in a position to deal with the change and in any way the organisation is at pace with the changes (Katzenbach & Smith, 1993, p. 89). Diverse workforce encourages equity among gender, which ensures long success in the business.

There is greater understanding of each other in the team where with the incorporation of the different cultures, it involves different believes and in trying to understand each culture brings greater cooperation (Rogelberg & Rumery 1996pp. 79-90).This result to strong team foundation, and for a high performing team take these forms of culture and incorporate in their decisions hence attaining of the team goal with ease.

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Negative effects of team diversity and work team performance

Diversity in team work not only has positive impact on the organisation but also has negative effects. With regard to communication, the diversity may results to lack of effective communication. Cultural diversity has different languages. These may results to misunderstanding among the team hence killing the morale of the team members (Baron, 1988, pp. 199- 207). For a team to succeed there has to be effective communication, lack of these results to confusion of the key objective thus the goals of the organisation may end up being not achieved.

Conflict will also arise in diversified teams. Everyone in the group has a different perspective on the way to things and the procedure to follow. Also due to poor communication there will result to conflicting objectives. This will result to decrease in productivity in the organisation hence not be in a position to attain the set goals, for example in sales they may not reach the targeted sales due to such conflicts. There are different types of conflicts these are task and relationship conflicts (Rogelberg & Rumery, 1996, pp. 79-90). People with different education background are hard to define the direction to take.

Resistance to change: as the world changes there will also result to cultural changes in the various groups the tam hence the team members may find it difficult to try to learn and understand the changes for them to understand. This will inhibit the team progress hence slows the productivity of the firm (Baron, 1988, pp. 199-207).

The implementation of the diversity each and everyone is requiring to be incorporated may be difficult. This will result to overriding challenge of trying to incorporate the various diversity in the group hence lack of well defined mission and this overall results to lack of achievement of the teams objective. For those views are not incorporated may feel they are discriminated and may demoralize them in the work. There will results to increase in the cost of trying to train each and everyone for ease adaptability in the different diversities (Purser & Cabana, 1998, pp. 244-255). These will results to extra cost which could have been used for other productive measures in the organisation.

How to deal with diversity negative effects to facilitate team performance

With the changing world and increased globalization diversity is very much encouraged to avoid these problems occurring when dealing with team diversification then the following steps should be taken for a successful world class organization. Assessment of the various diversity at work place, this will help the top managers to evaluate the various diversity in the team work. This will help identify the various challenges and obstacles that may affect the teams. This will help formulate the policies need to be included or eliminated for efficient performance. Development of a plan: this will help structure the various diversities in the team and which way to follow. The plan should also be flexible to enhance any changes that may occur in the diverse groups comprising a team (Purser & Cabana, 1998, pp. 244-255).

Personal commitments of the top managers, to ensure that various team are diverse to enhance the cooperation in the laws of that govern the teams. Every work place comprise of various teams which are diverse in nature (Jackson et. al 2003p. 803). The management should create conducive culture that steers the organisation towards achieving the set objective and goals.

Diversity and team performance do not relate

On the third view of there is no relation between diversity and team performance. Every team comprises of different individuals of different characters, altitude and believes hence they can not be similar. In organisation where there are set laws and procedure this may not relate. This is because every team member knows what is expected to do or not do (Hickman, 1987, p.89). Therefore in saying that there will be influence part of no influence between diversity and teamwork, May not work especially in a bureaucratic management the employees work under set rules and the procedures.

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Team diversity brings about positive development in an organisation strong team foundation, and for a high performing team takes these forms of culture and incorporates in their decisions hence attaining of the team goal with ease. On the part of no influence between diversity and teamwork, in either way there has to be a relation ship between the people since they can be of the same characteristics or diverse characters. Diversity bring different ideas in an organisation, this helps in positive growth of the organisation as different opinions are harmonized to make concrete decision.

For instance diversity among employees brings about different creative skills hence innovation these different ideas that contribute greatly to the performance of the company. However, diversity may also lead to delayed decision making, each individual may feel that their ideas are the best. Unwillingness of individual to change stagnate organisation development, this may also bring in conflict within the organisation whereby individual feel that their contributions have been undermined. Managers face challenges in trying to implement diversity in organisation because they have to deal with individuals from diverse cultural background.

Reference List

Albanese, R., & Van Fleet, D. D, (1985). Relational behaviour in groups: the free riding tendency, Academy of management journal, 10(22):244-255.

American Management Association. (1998). Senior Management Teams: Profiles and Performance. Management Review, 87: 37-44.

Baron, R.A. (1988). Negative effects of destructive criticism: impact on conflict, self Efficiency, and task performance. Journal of applied psychology, 73:199-207.

Heathfield, S. (2007). Twelve Tips for Team Building: How to Build Successful Work Teams. Web.

Hickman, J. R. (1987). The Design of Work Teams,” in J. Lorsch (ed.), Handbook of Organizational Behavior. New York: Prentice Hall.

Jackson, S. E., Joshi, A., & Erhardt, N. L. (2003), Recent Research on Team and Organizational Diversity: SWOT Analysis and Implications,” Journal of Management, 29: 801-830.

Katzenbach, J. R., & Smith, D. K. (1993), The Wisdom of Teams. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

Naff, K. C., & Thompson, R. C. (2000). The Impact of Teams on the Climate for Diversity in Government: The FAA Experience. Web.

Purser, R. E., & Cabana, S. (1998). The Self Managing Organization: How Leading Companies Are Transforming the Work of Teams for Real Impact. New York: The Free Press.

Rogelberg, S. G., & Rumery, S. M. (1996). Gender Diversity, Team Decision Quality, Time on Task, and Interpersonal Cohesion. Small Group Re-search, 27: 79-90.

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