Publication Type

Journal Article

Version

Postprint

Publication Date

9-2015

Abstract

Diversity in social networks is often linked to enhanced creativity. Emerging research on exposure to diverse informational resources (e.g., ideas and knowledge) however has painted a more complex picture regarding its effect on individuals’ creative performance. This research examines the effects of culturally diverse networks on the flow of ideas and individuals’ creativity. Combining social network analysis with experimental methods, two studies using different samples found that a culturally diverse network increases the likelihood of receiving culture-related novel ideas (but not other types of novel ideas) from network contacts, whether or not these contacts share one’s own culture of origin. Additionally, the creativity effect of network diversity depends on the type of tasks. Networks’ degree of cultural diversity increases creativity on tasks that draw on varied cultural-knowledge resources but not on other types of tasks. These findings highlight that network diversity provides access to specific forms of knowledge and has a domain-specific effect on creativity. Theoretical and practical implications for creativity and social network research are discussed.

Keywords

creativity, social network, culture, diversity, multiculturalism

Discipline

Organizational Behavior and Theory

Research Areas

Organisational Behaviour and Human Resources

Publication

Journal of Management

ISSN

0149-2063

Identifier

10.1177/0149206315601183

Publisher

SAGE

Embargo Period

7-28-2015

Additional URL

http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0149206315601183

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