NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
University of Tokyo
Institute of Social Science
Tokyo 113-0033 JAPAN
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|May 2006||The Impact of Group Diversity on Performance and Knowledge Spillover -- An Experiment in a College Classroom|
with Zeynep Hansen, Jie Pan: w12251
An important yet under-explored question in the teamwork literature concerns how group characteristics affect productivity. Within a given teamwork setting, it is not obvious how group member diversity affects the performance of the individual and the group. The group may gain from knowledge transfer and sharing while it may be crippled by communication and coordination problems that are prevalent in heterogeneous groups. In this study, we combine class performance data from an undergraduate management class with students%u2019 personal records to explore diversity and knowledge spillover effects. A major advantage of our dataset is the exogenous assignment of groups, which rules out the troublesome yet common self-selection issue in team literature. Our results indicate that male-dominant...