Diversity on teams leads to positive outcomes, but not for all

phys.org | 1/9/2014 | Staff
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Individuals on teams of diverse people working together can have better outcomes than those on teams with similar individuals, research as shown.

But a new study by University of Michigan and Michigan State University researchers found that the very individuals who add diversity to their science teams surprisingly do not experience positive outcomes.

Researchers - Diversity - Categories - Demographic - Race

Researchers examined diversity in two categories: demographic (race, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, nationality) and scientific (career stage, academic discipline, tenure on team).

A sample of 266 participants from 105 National Science Foundation-funded environmental science teams completed questionnaires about individual and team diversity, their satisfaction with their teams and authorship practices, and perceptions of the frequency of data sharing. They also disclosed perceptions of their team climate, including team collaboration, inclusion and procedural justice, which focused on influencing team policies related to research.

Participants - Characteristics - Eg - Women - Gay

Participants with more underrepresented demographic characteristics (e.g., black women, gay men not born in the U.S.) perceived their team climate—or attitudes and expectations on the team—to be more negative. This was associated with lower team satisfaction and more negative perceptions of authorship and data sharing on their teams, said study lead author Isis Settles, U-M professor of psychology and Afroamerican and African studies.

However, regardless of their own demographic characteristics, individuals on diverse teams perceived their climate more positively than individuals on more homogeneous teams.

Teams

Creating successful teams...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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