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Unraveling the double-edged sword : effects of cultural diversity on creativity and innovativeness

  • Cultural diversity is considered a “double-edged sword” (Kravitz, 2005) as research on its effects on teams’ performance regularly delivers inconsistent and contradictory results. This paper makes an attempt to unravel the double-edged sword by discerning different forms of cultural diversity: separation and variety (Harrison & Klein, 2007). Based on a review of the literature, a conceptual model is developed hypothesizing that cultural variety yields positive, while cultural separation yields negative effects on team creativity and innovativeness. In addition the effects of national diversity are contrasted to proof whether national diversity can serve as a proxy for cultural diversity as is often practiced. The model is tested on a sample of 113 student teams of Entrepreneurship modules at 4 European universities. Cultural diversity is measured directly on the basis of individual team members’ cultural value orientations by means of the CPQ4 (Maznevski, DiStefano, Gomez, Noorderhaven & Wu, 2002). Data is analyzed using the PLS structural equation modeling technique. The results confirm the hypothesized impacts of cultural variety and separation on creativity but do not deliver evidence for impacts on innovativeness. Same is true for national diversity. Interestingly, national diversity does not show any relation to neither form of cultural diversity.

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Author of HS ReutlingenLaßleben, Hermann; Kramer, Matthias
Erschienen in:Academy of management annual meeting proceedings
Publisher:Academy of Management
Place of publication:Briarcliff Manor NY
Document Type:Journal article
Publication year:2014
Tag:creativity; cultural diversity; innovation
Issue:January 2014
Page Number:Beitrag 17394
DDC classes:658 Allgemeines Management
Open access?:Nein