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ABSTRACT. In the Knowledge / Creative Economy, the key to success is creativity. An organization that wants to minimize groupthink and maximize creativity needs true diversity. Moreover, companies that are seen as being more diverse are also perceived as being more ethical than organizations that are not diverse. This paper examines both obvious and subtle challenges to diversity. The obvious forms are based on race, religion, ethnicity, nationality, and gender and are generally illegal under federal law. Subtle forms of discrimination include not hiring people who are gay (this may be illegal in many states), unattractive, overweight, short, have speech impediments, have strange names, and/or wear different kinds of clothing. Based on an examination of scholarly and professional literature, the authors conclude that any organization that wants to prosper in today’s economy must train its people to welcome those who are different. Once an organization does everything possible to remove all kinds of discrimination, both obvious and subtle, expect creativity to increase dramatically. When a productive team consists of Chassidim, stutterers, overweight women, short people, and individuals wearing turbans and hijabs, a firm will have truly overcome the challenges of diversity. pp. 7–33
JEL codes: D83; J15; J7; O31

Keywords: discrimination; challenges to diversity; racism; gender pay gap; ageism; subtle discrimination; discrimination against the unattractive; discrimination against the overweight; linguicism; speech impediments; class gap in test scores

How to cite: Friedman, Hershey H., Linda W. Friedman, and Chaya Leverton (2016), “Increase Diversity to Boost Creativity and Enhance Problem Solving,” Psychosociological Issues in Human Resource Management 4(2): 7–33.

Received 20 September 2015 • Received in revised form 2 November 2015
Accepted 3 November 2015 • Available online 15 November 2015

doi:10.22381/PIHRM4220161

HERSHEY H. FRIEDMAN
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Department of Business Management,
School of Business,
Brooklyn College of the City University of New York
LINDA W. FRIEDMAN
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Zicklin School of Business,
Baruch College of the City University of New York
CHAYA LEVERTON
School of Business,
Brooklyn College of the City University of New York

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