Seminar  |  06/22/2022 | 01:00 PM  –  02:15 PM

Innovation & Entrepreneurship Seminar: Disambiguating Effects of Knowledge versus Demographic “Diversity” in the Innovation Process – Field Experimental Evidence from a Collaborative Product Development Platform

Nilam Kaushik (Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, IIMB)

Seminars currently take place in online format (see seminar page).

Recent research and popular debate suggest that there can be a positive relationship between diversity, or differences in team member characteristics, and performance in novel problem-solving. In this study, we take steps to disambiguate the causal effects of knowledge diversity versus demographic diversity (gender, race, age) on innovation performance. We report on a field experiment in which 834 adults engaged in an inherently multi-disciplinary product development problem. Team composition was randomly assigned, as was the degree to which teams were primed to engage in a collaborative orientation and work style. We find that performance effects of knowledge and demographic diversity are—to a striking degree—statistically separate, independent, and qualitatively distinct. Consistent with prior literature, the results indicate largely distinct implications of diversity on knowledge integration versus group problem-solving processes. Apart from this main goal of disambiguating diversity effects most broadly, the study contributes a series of results on causal effects of knowledge, gender, race, and age diversity in a field experimental context.

Contact: Svenja Friess