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Does Gender Diversity Promote Non-Conformity?

Author

Listed:
  • Amini, Makan

    (Advent International)

  • Ekström, Mathias

    () (NHH Norwegian School of Economics)

  • Ellingsen, Tore

    () (Stockholm School of Economics)

  • Johannesson, Magnus

    () (Stockholm School of Economics)

  • Strömsten, Fredrik

    (McKinsey & Company)

Abstract

Failure to express minority views may distort the behavior of company boards, committees, juries, and other decision-making bodies. Devising a new experimental procedure to measure such conformity in a judgment task, we compare the degree of conformity in groups with varying gender composition. Overall, our experiments offer little evidence that gender composition affects expression of minority views. A robust finding is that a subject’s lack of ability predicts both a true propensity to accept others judgment (informational social influence) and a propensity to agree despite private doubt (normative social influence). Thus, as an antidote to conformity in our experiments, high individual ability seems more effective than group diversity.

Suggested Citation

  • Amini, Makan & Ekström, Mathias & Ellingsen, Tore & Johannesson, Magnus & Strömsten, Fredrik, 2015. "Does Gender Diversity Promote Non-Conformity?," Working Paper Series 1091, Research Institute of Industrial Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:iuiwop:1091
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    File URL: http://www.ifn.se/wfiles/wp/wp1091.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Conformity; Gender Differences; Group Composition; Skill;

    JEL classification:

    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • D02 - Microeconomics - - General - - - Institutions: Design, Formation, Operations, and Impact
    • D71 - Microeconomics - - Analysis of Collective Decision-Making - - - Social Choice; Clubs; Committees; Associations
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • J16 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination

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