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Finding the right balance of employee diversity attributes - Developing an instrument to measure effects of job-related and job-unrelated diversity attributes on innovative output within work gorups

Hamel, I.C (2014) Finding the right balance of employee diversity attributes - Developing an instrument to measure effects of job-related and job-unrelated diversity attributes on innovative output within work gorups.

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Abstract:Purpose – Organizations aim to reach competitive advantage through innovation. Based on the resource based view it can be argued that employees are crucial for innovative output because people are the origin for innovative ideas. In particular, it is assumed that heterogeneous teams are even more innovative than homogenous teams as the innovation process is built on diverse qualities of employees. However, findings of previous studies show inconsistent findings. Therefore this research aims to shed light into the black box regarding the relationship between diversity attributes of work groups and their innovative output. Therefore, diversity attributes are categorized into job-related and job-unrelated diversity attributes and innovative output into radical and incremental innovation. This leads to the following research question: “How do employee diversity attributes within a workgroup impact, directly or indirectly, innovative output of work groups?” Methodology – To answer the research question a multi-method design is used, including qualitative as well as quantitative research. The qualitative method is based on interviews with four team members who are interviewed by means of the TSTI (Three Steps Test Interview). By means of analyzing the TSTI the developed questionnaire is revised and tested with seven work groups. Further, statistical analyses are executed that aim to collect data with respect to the relationship between diversity attributes and innovation. Results – The analysis of the data show only a few significant correlations. However, there was no correlation found by means of the regression analysis. Further the subjective perception of diversity attributes and the innovative output is not in line with the actual diversity Index and innovative performance of the work group. That is why a conclusion regarding the propositions is hard to draw. Limitations / Implications – As current research was a pilot study, the research was limited regarding the sample size. Future research should further investigate the studied relationship by collecting more data. Furthermore, all variables should be measured in an objective way and different types of work group should be taken into account. Conclusion – This research was a first step to develop a general instrument that is able to measure work group diversity and innovative output within work groups in an appropriate way. However, there is still a black box between those the variables that asked for a complex model that takes all possible moderators and mediators into account.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/65584
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