A Research Companion
Edited by Jawad Syed and Mustafa F. Özbilgin
Nailah Ayub and Karen Jehn Introduction Diversity is being promoted by laws and regulations, immigration and globalization, and at times by economic pressures. In essence, the workforce has always been diverse with regard to some characteristics when individuals with unique qualities and wisdom work towards a common task. Recent trends have brought women into formal professions and facilitated the disabled, and equal opportunities laws have introduced a culturally diverse workforce. Diversity training and practices are being observed while norms and regulations are being reviewed and revised for improvements. Ambitious organizations have included diversity management not only for improvements in organizational achievements but also for their workers’ well-being. Diversity, generally defined as perceived differences, has been advocated by many diversity researchers to be good for effective and productive work groups and organizations (for example, Watson et al., 1993; McLeod et al., 1996; Jehn et al., 1999). On the other hand, others have negative findings regarding diversity, for reasons such as lack of social integration and high turnover (O’Reilly et al., 1989; Jackson et al., 1991), conflict (Jehn et al., 1999; Mannix and Neale, 2005), and demographic differences (Tsui and O’Reilly, 1989; Alexander et al., 1995). Diversity research reveals a collection of contradictory results concerning the effects of diversity on group outcomes (Guzzo and Dickson, 1996; McLeod et al., 1996; Barsade and Gibson, 1998; Williams and O’Reilly, 1998; Jackson et al., 2003; Mannix and Neale, 2005) leaving us with an inconclusive stance about the effects of diversity or when and what type...
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