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The Impact of Diversity, as Personality Types, on Team Performance

  • Through an extensive review of the literature, a research gap was identified concerning the knowledge around diversity and its impact on personality types and their influence on group performance. Previous literature revealed that diversity is a popular determinant for group composition, since it encompasses many different meanings and interpretations. Researchers would rather focus on easily measurable elements such as age or gender, but few studies have been conducted on deep-level diversity, such as personality traits or values. The aim of this study is to answer the research questions proposed concerning the effectiveness of homogeneous versus heterogeneous groups as well as the impact communication has on their performance. Through an analysis of previous studies and literature the research questions and hypotheses were formulated, and a methodology designed to answer them. The methodology used in this research was a variation of the Marshmallow Challenge. The groups were faced with two challenges. The first one was to build a 50cm-tall structure as quickly as possible, with a limited amount of material, including raw spaghetti, tape, rope and a marshmallow to test the stability of the structure. The second challenge was presented about one week later and involved the same materials, but the participants had to reach 70cm. Four teams of three were chosen. The personality tests had four possible outcomes: red, green, yellow, or blue. Each colour had specific characteristics and adjectives associated with it. The data collected revealed that the heterogeneous groups performed better overall. A slightly significant correlation was found between how well the teams performed and the words spoken per minute for the first experiment, but not for the second. The biggest limitation that hindered this study was the time pressure and limited sample size.

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Author:Rebecca Stuhlmann
Advisor:Julika Baumann Montecinos
Document Type:Master's Thesis
Year of Completion:2022
Granting Institution:Hochschule Furtwangen
Date of final exam:2022/08/31
Release Date:2022/09/05
Tag:Diversity; Group performance; Personality
Degree Program:IMM - International Management
Functional area:Andere/Other
Open-Access-Status: Closed Access 
Licence (German):License LogoUrheberrechtlich geschützt