Increasing Team Effectiveness Through Diversity

Pages: 3 (972 words) Published: August 17, 2008
Increasing Team Effectiveness Through Diversity

A team is more than people who share a workplace; “a real team is a group of very different individuals who share a commitment to working together to achieve common goals” (Fripp, 2007). More attention is being given to the influence of diversity in the workplace as the structural makeup of personnel continues to change (Hobman and Bordia, 2006). Knouse (2006) speculates that teams composed of diverse individuals should have more opinions to contribute, varying methods to solving problems, and broader viewpoints to analyze decisions. However, that does not always work to the team’s advantage. The differences could be so vast as to drive the team in to chaos and render it unable to attain its purpose (REFERENCE?). The determination on this theory reasons that the importance of a team’s effectiveness lies not in the composition of the individual members but in how the team chooses to utilize its resources and focus its attention. What makes a team? Individuals who are not equal in talent, experience or education, but equal in commitment (Fripp, 2007). A diverse team could be more likely to handle conflict properly, as they would expect disagreements to arise when grouped with a variety of individuals. However, when team members recognize others as being similar to them, they would be less likely to expect disagreements to arise and not know how to handle friction. “The assumption is that people who look like us think like us, but that’s usually just not the case” (Stanford, 2007). The fact that someone is the same race or ethnicity as you, for example, does not mean in actuality that the person has the same beliefs or opinions as you. This could be consequential to notions and assumptions someone might make about a person’s personality based solely on their appearance. Even if they have the same views as you, it is not beneficial to the team to have comparable minds working towards the same task. The...
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