Diversity of Teams - Advantages & Disadvantages

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The workplace around the world is constantly evolving. With globalisation, multicultural societies have led to diverse workforce on one hand and on the other, the requirement of multiple skills to get complex jobs done, organisations’ structures are larger and more spread out than before. Organisations now depend on groups and teams, which are diverse both demographically and functionally.

It is often believed that teams that are diverse are more creative and productive than teams that are homogenous. Diverse teams with different perspectives and skills have more to contribute towards getting a job done. The variety of thoughts and skills give more than one method or theory of carrying out a particular job. At the same time it can also be argued that teams that are non-diverse coordinate and communicate better within the team. So that brings us to the question that can the diversity in teams lead to negative or poor performance because of miscommunication, conflict, lack of understanding within the team ? Professors Elizabeth Mannix and Margaret A. Neale had conducted research programs to study diversity in teams and its effects. They found facts that define both positive and negative effects of diverse teams. However, they refute any consistent or definite effects of diversity. The professors instead focused on conditions or situations where diversity has an effect on performance and the reasons for it. Managers and team leaders can control some of the conditions or situations and Professors Mannix and Neale advise them on how to maximise the advantages and minimise the disadvantages of diverse teams.
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