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Prologue to The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies
[The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies]

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Author Info

  • Scott E. Page

    (University of Michigan, Santa Fe Institute)

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    Abstract

    In this landmark book, Scott Page redefines the way we understand ourselves in relation to one another. The Difference is about how we think in groups--and how our collective wisdom exceeds the sum of its parts. Why can teams of people find better solutions than brilliant individuals working alone? And why are the best group decisions and predictions those that draw upon the very qualities that make each of us unique? The answers lie in diversity--not what we look like outside, but what we look like within, our distinct tools and abilities. The Difference reveals that progress and innovation may depend less on lone thinkers with enormous IQs than on diverse people working together and capitalizing on their individuality. Page shows how groups that display a range of perspectives outperform groups of like-minded experts. Diversity yields superior outcomes, and Page proves it using his own cutting-edge research. Moving beyond the politics that cloud standard debates about diversity, he explains why difference beats out homogeneity, whether you're talking about citizens in a democracy or scientists in the laboratory. He examines practical ways to apply diversity's logic to a host of problems, and along the way offers fascinating and surprising examples, from the redesign of the Chicago "El" to the truth about where we store our ketchup. Page changes the way we understand diversity--how to harness its untapped potential, how to understand and avoid its traps, and how we can leverage our differences for the benefit of all.

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    Bibliographic Info

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    This chapter was published in: Scott E. Page , , pages , 2007.

    This item is provided by Princeton University Press in its series Introductory Chapters with number 8353-1.

    Handle: RePEc:pup:chapts:8353-1

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    Web page: http://press.princeton.edu

    Related research

    Keywords: diversity; groups; firms; schools; societies; teams; decisions; collective wisdom; progress; innovation; individuality;

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    Cited by:
    1. Afridi, Farzana & Iversen, Vegard & Sharan, M.R., 2013. "Women Political Leaders, Corruption and Learning: Evidence from a Large Public Program in India," IZA Discussion Papers 7212, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Max Nathan, 2013. "Top Team Demographics, Innovation and Business Performance: Findings from English Firms and Cities 2008-9," SERC Discussion Papers 0129, Spatial Economics Research Centre, LSE.
    3. Ismael Rafols & Loet Leydesdorff & Alice O'Hare & Paul Nightingale & Andy Stirling, 2011. "How Journal Rankings can suppress Interdisciplinary Research – A Comparison between Innovation Studies and Business & Management," DRUID Working Papers 11-05, DRUID, Copenhagen Business School, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy/Aalborg University, Department of Business Studies.
    4. Gary OSTER, 2011. "Extreme Diversity," REVISTA DE MANAGEMENT COMPARAT INTERNATIONAL/REVIEW OF INTERNATIONAL COMPARATIVE MANAGEMENT, Faculty of Management, Academy of Economic Studies, Bucharest, Romania, vol. 12(1), pages 18-29, March.
    5. Sergio Currarini & Matthew O. Jackson & Paolo Pin, 2009. "An Economic Model of Friendship: Homophily, Minorities, and Segregation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(4), pages 1003-1045, 07.
    6. Ceren Ozgen, 2011. "The Impact of Cultural Diversity on Innovation: Evidence from Dutch Firm-Level Data," Norface Discussion Paper Series 2011013, Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London.
    7. Charlotta Mellander & Richard Florida, 2011. "Creativity, talent, and regional wages in Sweden," The Annals of Regional Science, Springer, vol. 46(3), pages 637-660, June.
    8. Baer, Markus & Brown, Graham, 2012. "Blind in one eye: How psychological ownership of ideas affects the types of suggestions people adopt," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 118(1), pages 60-71.
    9. Hanappi, Hardy, 2011. "Signs of reality - reality of signs. Explorations of a pending revolution in political economy," MPRA Paper 31570, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Ceren Ozgen & Peter Nijkamp & Jacques Poot, 2013. "Measuring Cultural Diversity and its Impact on Innovation: Longitudinal Evidence from Dutch firms," Norface Discussion Paper Series 2013003, Norface Research Programme on Migration, Department of Economics, University College London.
    11. Paul David & Francesco Rullani, 2007. "Dynamics of Innovation in an “Open Source” Collaboration Environment: Lurking, Laboring and Launching FLOSS Projects on SourceForge," Discussion Papers 07-022, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    12. Daldy, Bridget & Poot, Jacques & Roskruge, Matthew, 2013. "Perception of Workplace Discrimination among Immigrants and Native Born New Zealanders," IZA Discussion Papers 7504, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    13. McLinden, Daniel, 2013. "Concept maps as network data: Analysis of a concept map using the methods of social network analysis," Evaluation and Program Planning, Elsevier, vol. 36(1), pages 40-48.
    14. Soll, Jack B. & Mannes, Albert E., 2011. "Judgmental aggregation strategies depend on whether the self is involved," International Journal of Forecasting, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 81-102, January.
    15. Uschi Backes-Gellner & Stephan Veen, 2013. "Positive Effects of Ageing and Age-Diversity in Innovative Companies Ð Large Scale Evidence on Company Productivity," Economics of Education Working Paper Series 0093, University of Zurich, Institute for Strategy and Business Economics (ISU).
    16. Rob Hodgson & Jacques Poot, 2011. "New Zealand Research on the Economic Impacts of Immigration 2005-2010: Synthesis and Research Agenda," CReAM Discussion Paper Series 1104, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), Department of Economics, University College London.
    17. Ben-Ner, Avner & McCall, Brian P. & Stephane, Massoud & Wang, Hua, 2009. "Identity and in-group/out-group differentiation in work and giving behaviors: Experimental evidence," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 153-170, October.
    18. Ozgen, Ceren & Nijkamp, Peter & Poot, Jacques, 2011. "The Impact of Cultural Diversity on Innovation: Evidence from Dutch Firm-Level Data," IZA Discussion Papers 6000, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    19. Hu, Lunchao & Tian, Kailan & Wang, Xin & Zhang, Jiang, 2012. "The “S” curve relationship between export diversity and economic size of countries," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 391(3), pages 731-739.

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