Publication Type

Edited Conference Proceeding

Publication Date

8-2007

Abstract

Innovation involves bridging existing knowledge systems from different areas. We propose that individuals who can integrate multiple social identities are better at combining knowledge systems associated with each identity, and thus exhibit higher levels of innovation. Three studies, each probing different types of social identities, provide evidence for this proposition. A laboratory experiment showed that Asian American biculturals who perceived their multiple cultural identities as compatible (high Identity Integration or high II) exhibited higher levels of innovation in creating new Asian-American recipes than biculturals who perceived their multiple cultural identities as conflicting (low Identity Integration or low II). A field study of faculty members with two disciplinary affiliations found that those who have high II (i.e., perceived the two disciplines as compatible) had more publications than those with low II. A third study showed that women engineers who have high II (i.e., perceived their gender and professional identities as compatible) were more innovative than those with low II. These findings suggest that the psychological management of multiple identities affects how individuals innovate.

Keywords

Creativity, Social Identity, Identity Integration, Multiple Identities, Creative Cognition, Bicultural, Invention, Innovation.

Discipline

Social and Behavioral Sciences | Technology and Innovation

Research Areas

School of Social Sciences (SOSS)

Identifier

10.5465/AMBPP.2007.26523081

Publisher

Academy of Management

City or Country

Philadelphia, PA, USA

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Additional URL

http://doi.org./10.5465/AMBPP.2007.26523081

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