Difficult differences pave the creative road from diversity to performance

Vlad Petre Glaveanu, Vlad P. Glaveanu, Marie Taillard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


In this article, we argue that engagement with differences is important for the relationship between diversity and organizational performance. This importance is explained by the increased potential for creativity and innovation coming out of working in diverse teams. We recognize that difference and diversity can act as a double-edged sword for creativity and also contend that such differences are a fundamental condition for novelty and value to emerge. It is because of differences and not despite them that we create at individual, group, and organizational levels and a European approach to this topic – given Europe's history and philosophical traditions – recognizes the major role played of creative tensions and even conflict in innovation and in society more broadly. In this paper, we review literature that relates creativity and business performance, creativity, and diversity and examine the role of disagreement and tension, both conceptually and based on empirical evidence. We conclude by stressing the point that creativity often comes out of difficult differences, a European lesson that is easily forgotten, in Europe as well as globally.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)671-676
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Management Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Conflict
  • Creativity
  • Difference
  • Diversity
  • Innovation
  • Management
  • Tension

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