It is a private, Ivy League university found in the Morningside Heights area of Manhattan, and is the oldest learning institution in the state. Columbia is also the fifth oldest university in the United States, and one of only nine colleges founded before the American Revolution, which gives it the title of of a Colonial College.
So if one were building a Internet company, say, a good approach might be to try and hire from a diversity of majors and ages, rather than pull in all the 22 year old software hotshots? Racial diversity, when it actually maps to cultural, and therefore likely cognitive, diversity, would also be good?
As for communication, it seems to me that internal company email discussion lists, blogs, wikis and such have become rather important. Perhaps this amplifies the advantages of diversity by making communications more efficient? Does the book cover communications as a kind of transactions cost to be weighed against the advantages of diversity, kind of a Coase sort of thing?
It sounds like an important book. I, too, was struck by the problem of translating that diversity into better outcomes. Generally, diversity in perspective is managed by putting marketing folks into one silo, engineers in another, etc.
Increasing diversity of thought seems like a better bet for a market leader, a google or micrsoft, that wants to stay that way. Especially given that there are ways to actually assess all of those kinds of things that actually matter for better group decision making, so there is no reason to use skin color or sex as poor proxy measures.
Terrific review; the book goes onto my acquire-at-APSA list. She may not look like me, but she thinks a lot more like me than ANY marketing person, even one who is demographically just like me.
Henry, thanks for this! From this we can infer that organizations, firms, and universities that solve problems should seek out people with diverse experiences, training, and identities that translate into diverse perspectives and heuristics.
Specifically, hiring students who had high grade point averages from the top-ranked school may be a less effective strategy than hiring good students from a diverse set of schools with a diverse set of backgrounds, majors, and electives.
Indeed, you might be getting fewer perspectives deployed by dumber lawyers sorry to be so blunt. Even after you open the bottle? My mom has some serious explaining to do.
First, in order to make this work, you need to have democratic institutions and democratic communication. Second, you need to have real diversity of ideas and this does not necessarily correspond to diversity of racial, ethnic, and class backgrounds.
Thinking more about it, though, I believe that the second criticism is easily overcome: However, this does not mean that you cannot find diverse persons or that diverse experiences, including those of being from a different class, race, or ethnicity do not tend to produce a diversity of opinion.
The first criticism is more difficult but it may be overcome by recognizing this type of argument as proposing a hypothesis: As most of our institutions are, today, insufficiently diverse and insufficiently democratic for this hypothesis to be tested, then we need to make sure that our institutions have sufficiently diverse representation and that they have a mode for facilitating and acting upon the results of diverse democratic inquiry.
After this has been done, we can then compare it to other types of decision making. This is partly but only partly right. If you want genuine diversity, you need to cast your net much wider hence my ref. And, more importantly, what conceivable evidence is there that people with lower grades would provide such perspectives in greater number than people with higher grades?1) Teacher’s Unions – This is the biggie, so it belongs at the beginning.
Teacher’s Unions are just as bad as all the other unions out there. Because Opportunity Belongs to Everyone. Strengthening Education in Maryland: Introducing our Report. Please take a few moments to review the work of the Maryland State Department of Education.
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