Friday, January 19, 2007

NEWS: Does Diversity Make a Difference?

You bet it does—and the research now proves it.

According to a new report out of the University of Illinois there is a positive correlation between employee diversity and business success. In fact, as diversity increases, so does businesses’ customers, share of market, and profitability.

Another study out of Tufts University suggests that not only do minorities bring different perspectives to a situation but they also seem to cause new thinking among others. Using two different models (mock juries and SAT-style questions), the study revealed that diversity causes groups to think differently, and were more likely to examine a problem from multiple perspectives.

Because the study examines group decision-making in a realistic setting, the findings have potential implications for a variety of contexts--from the classroom to the boardroom, or wherever a premium is placed on fact-finding and reaching a good decision," says Samuel R. Sommers, Ph.D., assistant professor of psychology in the School of Arts and Sciences at Tufts University. "Diverse groups show a number of advantages and benefits when it comes to this type of decision making.

We've given you the highlights. Now read the whole report at the Washington Post.