The topic of workplace diversity has vexed businesses and employees for decades. Increasing diversity has long been promoted as the right thing to do, but that notion could be viewed as simplistic and ignoring the deep benefits that inclusion can bring to an organization. Scott Page, a professor of complex systems at the University of Michigan, tackles the issue in his new book, The Diversity Bonus: How Great Teams Pay Off In The Knowledge Economy. He discussed why diversity must be more than “feel-good metaphorical statements” on the Knowledge@Wharton show, which airs on SiriusXM channel 111.
Knowledge@Wharton: What drove you to research this topic?
Page: It’s a little bit of a C.P. Snow moment. He was the British academic who said there are two academies: science and arts. Within the University of Michigan or almost any university, you’ve got people in the humanities and in the arts and philosophy departments talking about the need for inclusion on normative grounds, a sort of moral case for a more integrated society. Over in computer science and ecology and business, there are all these people showing in a knowledge economy this incredible value from people who have different perspectives, different ways of looking at problems, different tools. Rest