The basic task of management, Peter Drucker once wrote, is “to make people capable of joint performance.” Now, a report published in the journal Science has provided some interesting insights into how to do that more effectively.
The study, titled “Evidence for a Collective Intelligence Factor in the Performance of Human Groups,” shows that teams of people display a collective intelligence that has surprisingly little to do with the intelligence of any individual member. “Intuitively, we still attribute too much to individuals and not enough to groups,” Thomas W. Malone, director of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence and senior author of the study, told the Boston Globe.
[EXPAND More]Among the most provocative findings from the research: The proportion of women in a given group is a predictor of collective intelligence—a factor that the authors believe stems from “women’s generally superior social sensitivity,” as the Globe put it.
Drucker wouldn’t have been terribly surprised by this. As he told an audience in 1986: Many of the jobs performed in today’s knowledge-based economy depend on a person’s “willingness to work with other people.” Then he added, “Let’s face it, women are usually better at that than men.”
Do you agree? Are women generally better than men at working with others? Are they more “socially sensitive”?[/EXPAND]