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Management of national diversity at the individual, group, and societal level

Final Activity Report Summary - MONDE (Management of National Diversity at the Individual, Group, and Societal Level)

Research undertaken within the MONDE project investigated human diversity at various organisational levels. Quantitative research, case studies and experimental studies were used to provide a comprehensive and deep understanding of the various mechanisms and correlates of diversity in organisational contexts. By the time of the project completion all PhD dissertations were completed or were about to be completed within the area of research specified in the MONDE project, focussing on the effects of national diversity in organisational groups on team processes and outcomes.

The MONDE project successfully recruited, integrated and trained five early-stage researchers, who subsequently produced highly valuable datasets and promising research findings that were likely to have a significant impact on the scientific community and on organisations that tried to improve understanding of the effects of national diversity in organisational teams. Results of the MONDE project were already presented by Marie Curie fellows (MCF) at a number of leading international academic conferences. Further dissemination activities would particularly focus on the publication of research results in scientific and practitioner-oriented management journals. Two of the three MCFs who pursued their PhD degrees at the University of St. Gallen subsequently took up full-time academic post-doctoral positions at universities outside Switzerland, contributing to the success of the MONDE project as a vehicle for international mobility of young researchers in Europe. This also showed that the research training, teaching and networking activities of the MCFs during the MONDE project constituted a solid foundation upon which the MCFs could continue to build their international research careers beyond the MONDE project.

The MONDE project generated scientific insights that genuinely contributed to our understanding of national diversity at different organisational levels. By mapping and tracking the background characteristics and career paths of executive and non-executive directors of the largest companies in five developed economies we were able to improve our understanding of the antecedents of top management team and board composition in large multinational corporations via the identification of both drivers and barriers to international mobility in executive and non-executive labour markets. We also found that national diversity in top management teams and boards affected companies' strategies and performance.

Furthermore, the MONDE project investigated structural aspects of national diversity in teams using concepts such as diversity faultiness to improve our understanding of the dynamics and performance outcomes of diverse groups. Finally, experimental studies of multi-cultural group functioning revealed novel insights about trust and cooperation in culturally diverse group settings. Our findings had important implications for managers and organisations wishing to effectively manage diversity in groups.