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Demographic faultlines and creativity in diverse groups

Diversity and Groups

ISBN: 978-1-84855-052-0, eISBN: 978-1-84855-053-7

Publication date: 1 August 2008


Despite the oft made argument that demographic diversity should enhance creativity, little is known about this relationship. We propose that group diversity, measured in terms of demographic faultlines, affects creativity through its effects on group members’ felt psychological safety to express their diverse ideas and the quality of information sharing that takes place across subgroup boundaries. Further, we propose that the relationship between faultlines and creativity will be moderated by task interdependence and equality of subgroup sizes. Finally, we provide suggestions for how organizations can establish norms for self-verification and use accountability techniques to enhance creativity in diverse groups.


Nishii, L.H. and Goncalo, J.A. (2008), "Demographic faultlines and creativity in diverse groups", Phillips, K.W. (Ed.) Diversity and Groups (Research on Managing Groups and Teams, Vol. 11), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 1-26.



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