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Critically Discuss Performance Implications Of Diversity In A Team In The Light Of Relevant Literature

1811 words - 7 pages

Critically discuss performance implications of diversity in a team in the light of relevant literature. (2,500 words)INTRODUCTIONBackgroundAs information is more widely available especially on the Internet, consumers are demanding for more from the products and services they consume in terms of quality and offerings. According to Jackson (1996, 54), modern consumers are interested in brands that offer a wide variety of products and services. Hence, firms are adopting new business plans to develop innovative products and services, and increase responsiveness to customers.Jackson (1996, 54) noted that these new business plans requires coordination among employees who come from different cultures, backgrounds and experiences. For example, in apparel manufacturing industries, the sourcing, product development, product categories, trend research and colour technical departments get together to develop new collections of apparel ranging from clothing to shoes to bags and accessories.The lowering of trade barriers and advances in communications technology also play a part in encouraging the use of teams. Firms establish overseas production facilities to take advantage of lower foreign labour costs using advanced communication technology to connect global operations.When firms set up operations overseas, the countries became more affluent. As a result, costs and standards of living increase. Consequently, more women are entering the workforce and more immigrants from the outskirts are migrating to urban areas (Jackson, May, and Whitney 1995, 205) as they seek to improve quality of life.As Jackson, May, and Whitney (1995, 206) pointed out the decreasing rate of new entrants into the labour market forces firms to open the option of employing people of all ages, races, cultures and experiences.The results of such phenomenon include employees from different backgrounds and experiences working together in teams and increased chances of interactions among employees across different countries and time.Jackson (1996, 54) suggested with the increasing popularity of using teams in organisations, many believe teams are able to produce more innovative and higher quality outputs at a faster pace than individuals working alone can achieve. However the author also noted that many firms are realising the potential for innovation, quality and speed may not be acquired immediately. Teams may face negative consequences such as high turnover and hostility.To optimise team effectiveness, teams must understand and manage the differences that come with diversity. To manage diversity successfully, the different types of diversity and its possible effects on different types of teams and team performance need to be examined.Purpose of the PaperThe purpose of this paper is to examine the possible effects of different types of team diversity on team performance.Focus of the PaperFollowing Cohen and Bailey (1997, 240), the focus of this paper is to study diversity in different types...

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