We are constantly being told by the proponents of racial, ethnic, and gender preferences in business and academia that diversity results in better problem-solving, learning, and so forth. Now, there are a number of rebuttals to this justification for discrimination, but one of them has always been that, to the extent that there is truth here, it is cognitive diversity that matters rather than diversity of superficial characteristics like skin color. And it does not make sense to use skin color as a proxy for different perspectives and backgrounds.
Well, The Harvard Business Review has published an article that provides powerful support for the conservative view. Some snippets:
Received wisdom is that the more diverse the teams in terms of age, ethnicity, and gender, the more creative and productive they are likely to be. But having run the execution exercise around the world more than 100 times over the last 12 years, we have found no correlation between this type of diversity and performance.
Someone being from a different culture or of a different generation gives no clue as to how that person might process information, engage with, or respond to change.
Cognitive diversity has been defined as differences in perspective or information processing styles. It is not predicted by factors such as gender, ethnicity, or age.
Read the whole article here.