Diversity and Team Performance in a Kenyan Organization

55 Pages Posted: 14 May 2021

See all articles by Benjamin Marx

Benjamin Marx

Sciences Po - Department of Economics

Vincent Pons

Harvard University - Business School (HBS)

Tavneet Suri

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: April 2021

Abstract

We present the results from a field experiment on team diversity. Individuals working as door-to-door canvassers for a non-profit organization were randomly assigned a teammate, a supervisor, and a list of individuals to canvass. This created random variation within teams in the degree of horizontal diversity (between teammates), vertical diversity (between teammates and their supervisor) and external diversity (between teams and the individuals they canvassed). We observe team-level measures of performance and find that horizontal ethnic diversity decreases performance, while vertical diversity often improves performance, and external diversity has no effect. The data on time use suggests that horizontally homogeneous teams organized tasks in a more efficient way, while vertically homogeneous teams exerted lower effort.

JEL Classification: D22, J24, L22, M54, O12

Suggested Citation

Marx, Benjamin and Pons, Vincent and Suri, Tavneet, Diversity and Team Performance in a Kenyan Organization (April 2021). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP16015, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3846100

Benjamin Marx (Contact Author)

Sciences Po - Department of Economics ( email )

28, rue des Saints peres
Paris, 75007
France

Vincent Pons

Harvard University - Business School (HBS) ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States

Tavneet Suri

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Sloan School of Management ( email )

100 Main Street
E62-416
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States

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