Self-Managed Teams can Increase Diversity

Self-Managed Teams can Increase Diversity


Working shoulder-to-shoulder can lead to more equitable hiring and promotion practices.



In an extensive study by Frank Dobbin and Alexandra Kalev on why corporate diversity programs fail and what works better, examining over thirty years of data on the impact of corporate diversity programs on increasing the proportion of women and minorities in the management ranks in U.S. companies, they found: "At firms that create self-managed work teams, the share of white women, black men and women, and Asian-American women in management rises by 3% to 6% over five years."

Based on their research, they attribute this success to the impact working shoulder-to-shoulder has on breaking down stereotypes, which they suggest leads to more equitable practices around hiring and promotion. Yet, they found that only about 33% of U.S. companies use self-managed teams as part of core operations.




Dobbin, Frank, & Alexandra Kalev, Why Diversity Programs Fail: And What Works Better, Harvard Business Review, July-Aug. 2016, pp. 52-60.