Friday, December 29, 2006

Challenging demographic reductionism: An investigation of demographic diversity and value diversity in small groups

Rodriguez (2000) compared the effects of demographic (race, gender, and age) and value diversity on group-member satisfaction, perceived group fit (by outgroup members), group effectiveness, and group creativity. Contrary to expectations, demographic diversity was discovered to be unrelated to value diversity. Because the original impetus for demographic diversity is socio-political, in contrast to the alleged economic benefits of value diversity, it is, therefore, argued that they should not be confounded or misrepresented. Diversity in one area should not be assumed to lead to outcomes that would result from diversity in the other. Furthermore, it was determined that diversity in the three major demographic areas of race/nationality, gender, and age have differing effects on individual and group-level outcomes. Researcher's should exercise care, then, to not arbitrarily extend the results of research done in one area to another. Also contrary to expectations, this study failed to determine that value diversity was of any consequence to any of the previously specified outcomes. However, the basic group development model of Tuckman (1977) and others was affirmed: a clear, normative, group-level, value structure is essential for task effectiveness. At the group-level, "percent minority" (but not the unbiased measure of race/nationality diversity) had an adverse effect on personal satisfaction and perceived fit. In contrast, the unbiased measure of race/nationality diversity was positively related to both perceived fit and effectiveness. Also at the group-level, this study failed to find any association between either gender or age diversity and the investigated outcome variables. It was discovered, however, that gender-balanced groups establish greater levels of agreement on group-level terminal values. At the individual level, group members who reported higher satisfaction scores had a relative individual preference for "A World of Peace" and felt that their group norms favored the values of "Responsible, " "Ambitious," and "Friendship" more highly and "Clean" less highly.

Rodriguez, Ralph A. (2000). Challenging demographic reductionism: An investigation of demographic diversity and value diversity in small groups. Dissertation Abstracts International : Section B : The Sciences and Engineering. Vol 60 (7-B): 3621


Post a Comment

<< Home