Diversity as a Vehicle to Improve the Innovative Capacity of Organizations: A Case Study within the Framework of the European Program on Regional Development

By Saskia Harkema and Navid Otaredian.

Published by The International Journal of Organizational Diversity

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Published online: April 25, 2014 $US5.00

The research is framed within a European Program for Regional Development geared at improving the innovative capacity of SMEs in several regions in The Netherlands. The purpose of the research is to establish whether diversity can be implemented within organizations in order to improve the innovative capacity of firms. According to Thomas (2003), "When we talk about managing diversity, we're referring to creating an environment where people's differences in perspective can be valued and allowed to influence positively their experience in and contribution to the work of the organization." Research findings so far are not conclusive. Our research builds forth on those findings. We interviewed a large number of owners of SMEs and representatives of organizations and they confirmed that there is a relation between diversity and innovation. The paper illustrates this relation and opens up new areas for research.

Keywords: Diversity, Innovation, Learning

International Journal of Organizational Diversity, Volume 13, Issue 1, April 2014, pp.11-23. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Published online: April 25, 2014 (Article: Electronic (PDF File; 191.874KB)).

Dr. Saskia Harkema

Senior researcher and Lecturer, Wittenborg University, Chairman Foundation Faces of Change, Utrecht, Utrecht, Netherlands

Saskia Harkema is affiliated to The Learning Company as a Senior Researcher in the field of Innovation & Entrepreneurship. She is a specialist in the field of complex adaprive systems theory.

Navid Otaredian

Director, Advexis, Delft, Zuid-Holland, Netherlands

Navid Otaredian is owner of Advexis and affiliated to De Baak Management Centre as Director Programs in the field of Diversity Management.