Edited Conference Proceeding
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.
Creativity, Social Identity, Identity Integration, Multiple Identities, Creative Cognition, Bicultural, Invention, Innovation.
Social and Behavioral Sciences | Technology and Innovation
School of Social Sciences (SOSS)
Academy of Management
City or Country
Philadelphia, PA, USA
CHENG, Chi-Ying; SANCHEZ-BURKS, Jeffrey; and LEE, Fiona, "Increasing innovation through identity integration." (2007). Research Collection School of Social Sciences. Paper 2139.
Available at: http://ink.library.smu.edu.sg/soss_research/2139
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