Purpose – To motivate diversity researchers to reconsider prior findings that use homogeneity as the standard to which diverse teams are compared. To recognize that…
Purpose – To motivate diversity researchers to reconsider prior findings that use homogeneity as the standard to which diverse teams are compared. To recognize that homogeneity may be just as (if not more) influential than diversity in shaping group processes.
Design/approach – We selectively review the diversity literature and develop a conceptual reinterpretation of prior research. We challenge the general orientation in the literature to treat homogeneity as a baseline to which the effects of diversity are compared. We develop propositions that use diversity as the baseline for homogeneity and provide directions for future research.
Findings – We redigest evidence relating to five core areas in which researchers have identified differences between diverse and homogeneous groups, indicating that homogeneity may lead to (1) an avoidance of disagreement, (2) less use of unique information, (3) overconfidence about performance, (4) more social focus, and (5) less sensitivity to relationship conflict than might be warranted. Based on this reinterpretation of prior literature, we propose that homogeneous teams are prone to delusions, assuming they share similar values, opinions, knowledge, and preferences that make their world seem more homogeneous and comfortable than it may actually be.
Originality/value – We attempt to spur greater understanding of how diversity and homogeneity affect group functioning. We stress the independent effects of homogeneity in shaping group outcomes, an underexplored perspective in the diversity literature.
The learning outcomes are as follows: to understand why talent management is a vital component of a company’s broader strategy for long-term operational excellence; to…
The learning outcomes are as follows: to understand why talent management is a vital component of a company’s broader strategy for long-term operational excellence; to understand the impact of generation, life stage and career stage on an employee’s professional needs, goals and expectations of their firm; to understand how organisational culture contributes, in this case, to ineffective people management practices; and to develop a talent management strategy: new policies, processes or practices that will address the identified issues and create a sustainable pipeline of talent.
This case finds the successful agro-processing firm Namib Mills in a state of internal tension in April 2019. As Namibia’s premier supplier of staple food products, Namib Mills is performing well in a struggling economy. Then yet, CEO Ian Collard is concerned that his senior management team is not exhibiting the kind of leadership and strategic management needed to take the company into the future. As Ian examines the issue further – with the aid of a report from an external consultant – he begins to see that the weaknesses of his senior managers, who are prone to micromanaging and poor communication, are part of a bigger issue of talent management in the firm. The junior employees, who are energetic and ready to innovate, are growing restless as they wait for career growth and promotion opportunities. The rising leaders in middle management are also struggling to break through. Ian must confront how organisational culture and generational diversity within this family-owned business have created talent management barriers and develop a strategy for sustainably developing employees into the leaders of the future.
Complexity academic level
This case is designed for a master’s level management program and is well-suited for courses that deal with organisational behaviour, people management or human resources management. Specifically, the case is aimed at students interested in talent management, generational diversity and organisational culture.
CSS 6: Human Resource Management.