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Does Gender Diversity Promote Non-Conformity?

Makan Amini, Mathias Ekström, Tore Ellingsen (), Magnus Johannesson () and Fredrik Strömsten
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Makan Amini: Advent International
Fredrik Strömsten: McKinsey & Company

No 1091, Working Paper Series from Research Institute of Industrial Economics

Abstract: Failure to express minority views may distort the behavior of company boards, committees, juries, and other decision-making bodies. Devising a new experimental procedure to measure such conformity in a judgment task, we compare the degree of conformity in groups with varying gender composition. Overall, our experiments offer little evidence that gender composition affects expression of minority views. A robust finding is that a subject’s lack of ability predicts both a true propensity to accept others judgment (informational social influence) and a propensity to agree despite private doubt (normative social influence). Thus, as an antidote to conformity in our experiments, high individual ability seems more effective than group diversity.

Keywords: Conformity; Gender Differences; Group Composition; Skill (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C90 D02 D71 D83 J16 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-cbe, nep-exp, nep-lab and nep-soc
Date: 2015-10-20
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