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date: 16 February 2020

Abstract and Keywords

As part of an effort to understand diversity’s influence on group processes and performance, some researchers have explored diversity from an information processing perspective. This perspective suggests that because individuals in heterogeneous groups have a broader range of knowledge, skills, and abilities than homogeneous groups, they will also have greater access to a variety of task-relevant information and expertise, which can enhance group decision making. This chapter summarizes the findings of empirical research from this perspective and extends the tenets of this perspective, acknowledging the limitations of the original formulation. Included in the review is research on minority and majority influence processes and the integration of expert knowledge in groups. Finally, the chapter integrates this new information processing view with work that focuses on the effect of status differences on the processing of information in diverse environments.

Keywords: diversity, knowledge exchange, information processing, expertise, status, team, group, categorization

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