Diversity the Role of and Firm Performance : Examining Cognitions

  • Kilduff M
  • Angelmar R
  • Mehra A
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Abstract

Demography research rarely examines the black box within which the cognitive diversity of the top management team is assumed to affect firm performance. Using data from 35 sim- ulated firms run by a total of 159 managers attending executive education programs, the current research tested several hypoth- eses concerned with (a) the relationship between demographic and cognitive team diversity and (b) the reciprocal effects of diversity and firm performance. Results showed that members of high-performing teams tended to preserve multiple interpre- tations early in the team's life cycle, but that they moved toward greater clarity near the end of the life cycle. These high- performing teams, therefore, exhibited both early interpretative ambiguity and late heedful interrelating. Cognitive diversity in teams affected and was affected by changes in firm perfor- mance. Surprisingly, there was no evidence of any effect of demographic diversity on measures of cognitive diversity. (Top

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Authors

  • Martin Kilduff

  • Reinhard Angelmar

  • Ajay Mehra

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