Having a diverse founding team seems integral to the success of a new venture. A “dream team” creates a certain spark and creative clash when its team members bring their unique perspectives and backgrounds to the table. This diversity allows for enriched decision making, which helps solve the complex, non-routine problems any enterprise will inevitably encounter. It also heightens idea generation: a diverse team is known to be more innovative in the development of products, services, processes, or problem-solving.
Yet there are many questions surrounding diverse teams. What defines diversity? What are the optimal levels of diversity? Should there be an appropriate balance of different forms of diversity?
In Maria Kakarika’s theoretical research, which builds upon Harrison and Klein’s groundbreaking work, she distinguishes three types of diversity: power, opinion, and expertise.