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The Diversity Bonus:
How Great Teams Pay Off in the Knowledge Economy
Scott E. Page
Edited with an introduction by Earl Lewis and Nancy Cantor. With commentary by Katherine Phillips.

Hardcover | 2017 | $27.95 | £22.95 | ISBN: 9780691176888
328 pp. | 6 x 9 1/4 | 20 line illus.
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Reviews | Table of Contents
Introduction[PDF] pdf-icon

A Q&A with Scott E. Page

How businesses and other organizations can improve their performance by tapping the power of differences in how people think

What if workforce diversity is more than simply the right thing to do in order to make society more integrated and just? What if diversity can also improve the bottom line of businesses and other organizations facing complex challenges in the knowledge economy? It can. And The Diversity Bonus shows how and why.

Scott Page, a leading thinker, writer, and speaker whose ideas and advice are sought after by corporations, nonprofits, universities, and governments around the world, makes a clear and compellingly pragmatic case for diversity and inclusion. He presents overwhelming evidence that teams that include different kinds of thinkers outperform homogenous groups on complex tasks, producing what he calls “diversity bonuses.” These bonuses include improved problem solving, increased innovation, and more accurate predictions—all of which lead to better performance and results.

Page shows that various types of cognitive diversity—differences in how people perceive, encode, analyze, and organize the same information and experiences—are linked to better outcomes. He then describes how these cognitive differences are influenced by other kinds of diversity, including racial and gender differences—in other words, identity diversity. Identity diversity, therefore, can also produce bonuses.

Drawing on research in economics, psychology, computer science, and many other fields, The Diversity Bonus also tells the stories of people and organizations that have tapped the power of diversity to solve complex problems. And the book includes a challenging response from Katherine Phillips of the Columbia Business School.

The result changes the way we think about diversity in the workplace—and far beyond it.

Scott E. Page is the Leonid Hurwicz Collegiate Professor of Complex Systems, Political Science, and Economics at the University of Michigan and an external faculty member of the Santa Fe Institute. The recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he is the author of The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies and Diversity and Complexity (both Princeton). He has been a featured speaker at Davos as well as at organizations such as Google, Bloomberg, BlackRock, Boeing, and NASA.


"Scott Page . . . makes a very pragmatic, even clinical, case for diversity. He presents evidence on how ‘cognitive diversity’--people perceiving, analysing and solving problems in different ways--can benefit the bottom line of any organization."--Nature Astronomy

"The evidence is well presented by Page, who reiterates with his convincing analysis the importance of genuine inclusion."--Hashi Mohamed, Prospect

"This very clear and compelling book will help people consider specifically what shape their challenges and problems take and what kind of diversity will help address them."--Diane Coyle, The Enlightened Economist

"Scott Page’s model of diversity--less a glorious rainbow of superficial attributes, more a toolkit crammed with different skills and perspectives--is a powerful way to appreciate the problem with homogeneity."--Tim Harford, Financial Times


"If you want your business or team to perform better, read this book. With compelling evidence, examples, and writing, Scott Page makes the business case for drawing out diverse perspectives, and shows you exactly how to do it. A clear road map for every team and leader."--Laszlo Bock, former SVP of People Operations at Google and author of the New York Times bestseller Work Rules!

"Scott Page’s research is a breakthrough in the business case for diversity and inclusion. The Diversity Bonus should be required reading for leaders who want to unlock the full potential and performance of their teams. It has profound implications for the future of work and talent management."--Matt Breitfelder, Chief Talent Officer, BlackRock

"An excellent book that combines convincing stories and persuasive arguments about the benefits of diversity."--Simon A. Levin, Princeton University

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Table of Contents:

Introduction xi
Earl Lewis and Nancy Cantor
The Contrary Assumption 1
1 Diversity Bonuses: The Idea 13
2 Cognitive Repertoires 52
3 Diversity Bonuses: The Logic 68
4 Identity Diversity 133
5 The Empirical Evidence 162
6 Diversity Bonuses and the Business Case 184
7 Practice: D&T + D&I 209
What Is the Real Value of Diversity in Organizations?
Questioning Our Assumptions 223
Katherine W. Phillips
Appendix: The Diversity Prediction Theorem 247
Notes 251
Bibliography 271
Index 287

Other Princeton books authored or coauthored by Scott E. Page:

Another Princeton book authored or coauthored by Earl Lewis:

Another Princeton book authored or coauthored by Nancy Cantor:


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