Missing Out on Diversity

Missing Out on Diversity


Research by Adam Galinsky and colleagues discussed in their article Maximizing the Gains and Minimizing the Pains of Diversity, highlights how organizations can miss out on the creative, economic, and innovative potential of diversity when diversity is not well-managed.



Their research highlights some of the demonstrated benefits of diversity, including how diversity increases creativity and innovation, even noting "the success of the United States, a nation founded and sustained by immigrants, has been driven, in part, by its considerable diversity."

But, importantly, to minimize the potential for counterproductive conflict and increase the ability to reap diversity's full benefits, Galinsky and his colleagues underscore the need for effective diversity management, such as emphasizing diversity that is broadly inclusive of both minority and majority groups, fostering the ability of people to see things from someone else's perspective, and increasing opportunities for cross-cultural contact.

In his research on the paradox of diversity management, creativity, and innovation, Nigel Bassett-Jones cites the following factors from academic literature as key to creating a collaborative climate for effective diversity management:

"trust, team spirit, unified commitment, principled leadership, an elevating goal, a results-driven structure, standards of excellence, participation in decision-making, external support and recognition, and an aptitude to adjust to roles and behaviors to accommodate new emergent values."

He also notes that effective diversity management requires managers who understand the challenges of diversity management and have the skills and capabilities to build relationships across differences to capitalize on diversity's creative and innovative capabilities.




Bassett-Jones, Nigel, The Paradox of Diversity Management, Creativity and Innovation, Creativity and Innovation Management, Vol. 14, No. 2, June 2005, pp., 169-175.

Galinsky, Adam D., Andrew R. Todd, Astrid C. Homan, Katherine W. Phillips, Evan P. Apfelbaum, Stacey J. Sasaki, Jennifer A. Richeson, Jennifer B. Olayton, & William W. Maddux, Maximizing the Gains and Minimizing the Pains of Diversity: A Policy Perspective, Perspectives on Psychological Science, Vol. 10, No. 6, Nov. 2015, pp. 742-748.