Several studies have shown the benefits of diversity in small groups and teams, and how a mix of viewpoints results in better decisions. Now, researchers from NC State’s Poole College of Management have extended that concept to the economy at large.

Their findings? Diversity is good for business.

Measuring the Impact of Diversity on Innovation

Poole College professors Richard Warr and Roger Mayer collaborated with Jing Zhao, now on the faculty of Portland State University, to examine how the way a company treats its employees impacts innovation. They focused on diversity by counting the number of new-product announcements and patent filings and citations, as measures of a firm’s innovation, and compared that to each business’s corporate policies that promote a culture of diversity, specifically the treatment of women and minorities.

Their research, “Do Pro-Diversity Policies Improve Corporate Innovation?” is forthcoming in the journal Financial Management.

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Written by Nancy E. Oates.