In this study, the authors found a strongly positive relationship between team diversity and team performance. This finding is interesting considering previous research indicating that diversity strengths groups and working-teams. Such findings are particularly compelling in light of the World Cup, where players are grouped according to citizenship (in rare cases, players have a choice between teams). Are the authors' findings simply a product of the fact that the wealthiest teams can afford to recruit players from all over the world? Though one could also certainly criticize the study and its focus on linguistics, it is a strong argument in support of diversity across societies.
The results are clear and straightforward: There is a positive relationship between diversity and performance that is visible even among the very best teams in the world. Teams that eschew international talent to cultivate solely homegrown are likely to come up short on the world’s biggest stage. A structural equation model (SEM), where diversity and player quality (proxied by transfer values) are endogenized, reinforces these findings. Surprisingly, we find no evidence of diminishing returns to diversity. It almost always helps to enhance the pool of styles available on the field.