Abstract for: Diversity and Innovativeness in New Product Development Teams – Addressing Dynamic Aspects With Simulation
Various empirical studies investigate the correlation between diversity and innovativeness in New Product Development teams (NPD teams). However, those studies show various and contradicting results. Diversity can be a resource that helps to strengthen the innovativeness of a NPD team. On the other hand, diversity can act as a risk that leads to diminished team cohesiveness and thus obstructs innovativeness. Numerous other factors influence the innovativeness of a heterogeneous NPD team. In this paper, we will discuss if and how simulation as a complementary method to empirical studies can help to shed light on the complex and contradicting effects of diversity on innovativeness of NPD teams. Simulation models can help to analyze the diversity problem and its dynamic behavior as well as to allow insight into the basic underlying structures. Thus, simulation can show, where further empirical data is needed, can help in developing and testing new theory, and can support organizations in gaining a better understanding of heterogeneous NPD teams and implement practical solutions. We will show a highly aggregated and simplified System Dynamics model to illustrate the potential simulation has as a complementary method in the area of diversity research.